IGFA Great Marlin Race Winner Announced
The 2021-2022 IGFA Great Marlin Race, presented by Costa Sunglasses, and sponsored by AFTCO, the Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, and EdgeWater Boats is a partnership between IGFA and Dr. Barbara Block’s lab at Stanford University. The annual race ends on September 30, 2022, and over the past year the IGFA has deployed a total of 27 tags on billfish around the world. Tags were deployed for the first time off the Dominican Republic, Ocean City, Maryland, US, and in the Gulf of Mexico off Alabama.
A total of 19 tags were released during the past year and reported 2,264 days of tracking information covering 15,471 nautical miles of linear distance from deployment to pop-up location.
The IGFA Great Marlin Race uses linear distance (deployment to pop-up locations) to determine the annual winners because these positions are obtained from exact GPS fixes. Fish locations used to measure total track distance, although estimated with complex models employed by Dr. Block’s team at Stanford, must factor in a variety of information about the time, day length, sea surface temperature,
depth, etc. and have less accurate position estimates due to the difficulty to estimating location while the tag is underwater. For that reason, to maintain fairness, the most accurate distances are used to determine our winners.
The winner of the 2021-2022 IGFA Great Marlin Race is a satellite tag sponsored by Tony Huerta of the Lo Que Sea and deployed on an estimated 300-pound blue marlin tagged during the 2021 Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. This fish was caught by angler Andrew Brady and the winning fish was estimated to have traveled nearly 8,000 nautical miles over the course of its 240-day migration across the Atlantic Ocean. This incredible migration shows the fish leaving the coast of North Carolina toward the northeast before heading all the way across the Atlantic to the west coast of Africa. The fish then swam south through Cape Verde before heading back to the west where the tag popped off roughly 800 nautical miles east of French Guiana. Before this fish crossed the Atlantic it recorded its deepest dive down to over 450 meters (1,476 feet), but spent the majority of its time at the surface.
The IGFA congratulates Tony Huerta and the Lo Que Sea crew for their winning tag this year and thanks them greatly for the support of the IGFA Great Marlin Race!