The 2012 top female saltwater angler has done it again. Sjon A.
Harless appears to have captured the world record for landing a catch
on a 60-kilogram (130-pound) line. She landed a 27.98-kilogram
(61-pound, 11-ounce) Pacific cubera snapper
(Lutjanus novemfasciatus) off
Flamingo June 30.
Ms. Harless was slow trolling live bait and needed 10 minutes to boat
the fish, the International Gamefish Association said, adding that the
existing record was 25.85 kilograms or 57 pounds on that type of
fishing line. Ms. Harless also was the association's 2012 female
saltwater angler of the year because of other records that she holds.
She was fishing with Capt. Luis Ruiz, the association said.
Ms. Sjon’s Costa Rica sport fishing has resulted in the most female
world record catches in the world for 2011, according to a release from
the association. She accrued an impressive six world records in her
home waters surrounding the Gulf of Papagayo in northwestern Costa
Rica, it said.
Beyond the obvious impressive nature of Ms. Sjon’s accomplishment is
that she did all of her fishing out of one location in a handful of
fishing days, the association said. Normally, these award winners
traverse the globe on an annual basis chasing various species in both
fresh and saltwater, fishing up to 200 days a year to accrue enough
records to qualify, the association added, noting that Ms. Sjon made
all of hers in just 15 days of fishing during 2011.
Fishing off northern Costa Rica provides some of the best in the
world for both variety of species including four different
species of billfish, roosterfish and mahi-mahi.
—Aug. 15, 2012
hosts tournament in April
Special to Fish Fabulous Costa Rica
The Presidential Challenge sport fishing competition plans a three-day
tournament where anglers seek out game fish with a base in Golfito.
The dates are from April 24 to 27 with Hotel Casa Roland Marina Resort
being the headquarters. Boating action will be at two nearby
marinas, Fish Hook and Banana Bay, said the Presidential Challenge
Charitable Foundation, Inc.
This is the first time in 18 years, that the tournament will be based
in Golfito, an announcement said. The former banana port is on the
Gulfo Dulce in the southern Pacific section of the country.
The event is not for the weekend angler. The entry fee is $5,000
a team, which can be from two to four persons. The three most
successful teams win cash prizes, according to the tournament format.
Proceeds from the Presidential Challenge Events will benefit The
Billfish Foundation's Central American and Caribbean conservation
projects as well as the Adopt-A-Billfish Satellite Tagging Program and
the International Game Fish Association, the foundation said.
The tournament is likely to give a tourism boost to the area.
The Golfito tournament is followed by the Presidential Papagayo Cup
June 5 to 8 from Marina Papagayo in northern Costa Rica. Both are part
of a series of sport fishing tournaments.
— Oct. 3, 2013
U.S. ban on game fish
due soon, proponents report
Special to Fish Fabulous Costa Rica
When the Billfish Conservation Act was signed into U.S. law nearly a
year ago, conservationists worldwide expected that the globe’s largest
market for imported marlin, sailfish, and spearfish would soon be
Although the challenge of getting a bill passed through the legislative
process was won, there is still work to be done to make sure the
measure will be properly enacted, said the International Game Fish
The association and the organization Wild Oceans met last week with
Fisheries senior fisheries staff members to discuss progress on
implementing the new law. Both organizations reported that they learned
that a complete ban on the sale of billfish in the mainland United
States is nearing reality.
The Billfish Conservation Act, signed into law by President Barack
Obama Oct. 5, 2012, prohibits the sale of all marlin, sailfish, and
spearfish in the continental United States and effectively eliminates
an estimated 30,000 billfish being imported each year from foreign
countries, the organizations said. In April the fisheries section
of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a
proposed rule and sought comments. Of particular concern is
whether or not billfish harvested in Hawaii and nearby U.S. territories
under an exemption for traditional Pacific island fisheries may be
shipped to the mainland, said the two organizations.
When the International Game Fish Association and Wild Oceans, through a
joint Take Marlin Off the Menu campaign, promoted the creation of the
Act in 2011, the intent was to completely close the mainland to
importation and sale of all billfish, thus ending a sizable foreign
market, while still allowing the traditional local consumption of
billfish in the Hawaiian Islands, they said. After the act was
signed into law, both groups immediately began working with legal and
trade experts to emphasize the law’s intent to federal officials, they
said. Both organizations have said they have submitted detailed
comments on the proposed rules
The organization's position is that the act was intended as a mechanism
to conserve imperiled billfish and not to replace foreign origin
billfish in the mainland United States with fish caught under the
domestic exemption. Allowing billfish harvested in Hawaii to be shipped
and sold to the mainland, where imports are prohibited, would violate
international trade law, they noted.
So far the federal fisheries officials are interpreting the law as a
complete prohibition on possession and sale of billfish covered by the
Act in the continental United States and will continue to do so until
it issues a final rule, said the organizations. A federal
enforcement order that existing billfish product on the mainland be
destroyed or donated to charity.
Federal fisheries officials said they intend to issue a proposed rule
by the end of this year or early 2014, the organizations reported.
— Oct. 31, 2013
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