IGFA Billfish Research and Conservation Endowment
The Future of Billfish Depends on You
Can you imagine living in a world where billfish populations have been so diminished that fishing for them is no longer worthwhile? Most billfish anglers cannot, and the International Game Fish Association shares this same sentiment.
Billfish represent some of the most, if not the most, iconic big game, offshore species. They are enjoyed by anglers around the world, and recreational fishing for billfish also provides substantial economic benefits. However, there’s a problem.
Many billfish stocks are in a depleted state and are also understudied, so we cannot accurately determine whether they are healthy. Put simply, there has not been enough resources dedicated to studying and conserving billfish as there needs to be, especially when you consider how important they are to recreational anglers and the revenue these fisheries generate.
But what if there was a dedicated source of funds whose sole purpose would be to study and conserve billfish, in perpetuity? That’s exactly what the IGFA Billfish Research and Conservation Endowment will accomplish.
Anchored by an estimated planned gift of approximately $1,300,000 and a generous matching gift pledge, the IGFA Billfish Research & Conservation Endowment aims to raise an additional $1,000,000 that will be matched dollar-for-dollar. The initial result of these efforts will be a $3.3mm endowment whose disbursements will be used exclusively to conserve billfish – FOREVER. These funds will grow in perpetuity and additional contributions will be added over time.
The IGFA Billfish Research and Conservation Endowment is dedicated to funding initiatives that directly or indirectly benefit billfish stocks by enhancing our knowledge on their biology and ecology, obtaining management measures that improve their abundance on national, regional and international levels, and improving recreational fisheries for these species.
The IGFA’s Credibility
Since its inception in 1939, the IGFA has had strong ties with fisheries science and conservation. We were initially housed in the American Museum of Natural History, and throughout our history we have participated in research and advocacy efforts on a variety of species. However, the IGFA specializes in billfish research and conservation.
Whether it’s passage of federal laws that protect billfish, establishing the world’s largest billfish satellite tagging program or participating in other key billfish conservation and research efforts, one could argue that in the past 20 years, no other recreational fishing organization has done more to study and conserve these majestic fish.
What this Billfish Endowment will do
With your support, this dedicated billfish endowment will greatly increase the IGFA’s capacity to work with other scientists and organizations to conduct billfish research and participate in fisheries management and advocacy efforts. This will lead to better management of these species and will in turn benefit billfish anglers. Specific projects will include:
Enhancing research on billfish movement and habitat utilization through the IGFA Great Marlin Race
Funding socio-economic studies that quantify billfish angler participation and economic contribution at regional levels
Working with other credible, like-minded organizations on initiatives that advances our knowledge of billfish biology and ecology for their long-term sustainability.
Evaluating new satellite tagging technologies that will become the next generation of marine telemetry research tools.
Capitalizing on the wealth of data being collected by the IGFA Great Marlin Race to develop high-profile research publications that better verify commercial billfish catch data reporting
Funding studies on billfish life history parameters such as age and growth, which are critical elements for accurate stock assessments
Engaging with other NGOs at major Regional Fisheries Management Organizations to develop strategic coalitions and campaigns aimed at achieving meaningful measures that will rebuild billfish stocks