NO WANTON WASTE
While many tournaments allow the harvest of blue marlin, few outline what is to be done with the fish after it is weighed. All too often it is returned to the sea for disposal. However, the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing
Series is different in that it has a wanton-waste rule for its events. Tournament coordinator Amy Whitaker Dukes, of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, says the rule requires that the marlin remain cold and in edible condition after capture. “Fishing teams either use a large insulated fish bag or wrap the fish in iced towels once it’s boated,” she says.
“After the fish is measured at the dock, to ensure it meets the 105-inch minimum, and weighed, it’s placed on ice while biologists take samples, examine the stomach contents and remove the otoliths. Once that process is complete, the boat crew has three hours to properly clean the fish. Series rules ensure that if you’re going to take a marlin in a tournament, you will show the fish respect in making sure it is consumed and not wasted. If any of the above steps are not followed, the team is disqualified. We feel this showcases our strong commitment to conservation and research.”