Costa Rica - click to expand
Initiated in December of 2011, the project is be based out of Quepos, Costa Rica in collaboration with Frenzy Sportfishing. During the Proof of Concept phase of this project, the team deployed pop-up satellite tags (PSATs) in two sailfish. The tags are leading edge solar powered PSATs developed by Desert Star Systems and will gather information on location, depth and water temperature to determine the migration patterns of billfish off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The team hopes to deploy up to 20 PSATs in the spring of 2012. Track the Fish >> | Photo Gallery >>

Guatemala - click to expand
Like most of the Pacific coast of Central America, billfish arrive in great numbers off the west coast of Guatemala during the months of January – March and depart in May. Are these part of the same stock as in Costa Rica? Do these fish leave and go to the same place as the Costa Rican fish? Project currently in the planning stages.

Panama - click to expand
From the time the famous angler Zane Grey tackled huge black marlin in the waters off Pinas Bay, Panama has been a big game angler's mecca. The Billfish Research Project team is anxious to deploy PSATs in this body of fish to determine their migratory patterns. If discovered to be the same body of fish that wander up into Costa Rica and Guatemala, fisheries management policymakers might treat these fish as one large biomass and the resultant improved management of the stock would have long term benefits to the fish and the economies of these Central American countries. Project currently in the planning stages.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico - click to expand
Famous for its January & February sailfish bite, Isla is a destination for many US based sportfishing boats. Despite its billfishing notoriety scientists know next to nothing about the migratory patterns of the billfish that visit the beautiful waters off this tiny Mexican island located just 10 miles off the mainland city of Cancun. The Billfish Research Project's team considers Isla to be a perfect place to conduct another migration study using PSATs. Project currently in the planning stages.

St. Thomas, USVI - click to expand
The North Drop around the full moons of June through September sees a huge number of Atlantic Blue Marlin coming through. The smaller males usually arrive first followed by the larger females. So is this a mating aggregation? Maybe so. Where are they when they are not hanging out busting the tackle of anglers? That's what The Billfish Research team hopes to learn by initiating a study there. Project currently in the planning stages.

Mauritius - click to expand
Located off Madagascar in the Indian Ocean this small country is famous for its beautiful beaches as well as huge blue and black marlin. Currently the records are 1430 for the blues and 752 for the blacks. Prime season runs November to April. Sound familiar? The Team has scientists in Mauritius very interested in studying the migratory patterns of these huge billfish. Project currently in the planning stages.

The Team

The Billfish Research Project was co-founded by Jamie Walker and Kerwin Steffen, owners of Frenzy Sportfishing in Quepos, Costa Rica. They have assembled a team of talented individuals from the scientific, sportfishing, cinematography and communications fields to design, execute and communicate the results of their scientific research.

Our team consists of the following individuals and organizations:

   
Jamie Walker
Project Photographer,
Frenzy Sportfishing owner
  Kerwin Steffen
Frenzy Sportfishing owner
  Dr. John M. Dean, Ph.D.
Chief Science Advisor,
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina
         
   
Dr. Virginia Shervette,
Ph.D.
Assistant Science Advisor, Professor of Fisheries Science, University of South Carolina
  Dr. Jeff Jefferson
ARGOS Satellite Communications,
University of South Carolina
  Robin Dean
Technical Editor
         
     
Luke Pearson
Project Cinematographer,
President of Lift Films, Inc.
  Jenny Walker
Expert angler
   

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