DANIA BEACH, FLA — Bob Kurz, a resident of Laguna Niguel recently received the prestigious International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Conservation Award for his involvement with the Great Marlin Race. The award was presented by IGFA Trustee Bill Shedd, at IGFA’s International Auction & Banquet on Jan. 27 in Dania Beach, Florida
In 2009, Bob and Dr. Barbara Block of Stanford University co-founded the Great Marlin Race to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) and to help advance Pacific Blue Marlin research. The Great Marlin Race is basically a “competition within a competition,” giving tournament anglers an opportunity to sponsor electronic satellite tags which are then deployed on marlin caught during the tournament.
The objective of the research is to discover where marlin go following capture and tag deployment. When satellite tags pop off – typically after 120 days – the marlin traveling the furthest wins the race. This cutting edge science provides a wealth of information about marlin migrations, including sea temperature preference, diving behavior and the actual route taken by each marlin recorded on a daily basis.
Since the inaugural race in 2009, the Great Marlin Race has been held each year during the HIBT. Then beginning in 2011, IGFA in partnership with Stanford University, decided to expand the Great Marlin Race worldwide with the goal of deploying 50 satellite tags at tournaments though out the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
In accepting the award, Bob told the audience “that the real winners of the Great Marlin Race are the marlin since the scientific data obtained during the race will help ensure the long-term survival of these magnificent fish.”
For more information about the Great Marlin Race go to www.greatmarlinrace.org or igmr.igfa.org.