IGFA Praises Passing of Billfish Conservation Act

October 8, 2012

NOTE: The IGFA released the following statement in response to President Obama signing of the Billfish Conservation Act:

Today, President Obama signed the the Billfish Conservation Act into law, effectively banning the importation of all billfish into the continental United States. The signing marks the culmination of a united undertaking by a diverse coalition of angling and conservation organizations working in cooperation with a bipartisan group of congressional champions. Although there are no commercial fisheries targeting billfish in the US, the US has been the largest importer of billfish in the world, importing about 30,000 billfish annually.

“This is a tremendous success for these highly migratory species,” National Coalition for Marine Conservation President (NCMC) Ken Hinman said. “Marlin, sailfish, and spearfish do not know country boundaries and travel through three of the planet’s oceans. Giving them greater protection in the United States sets the stage for better protection worldwide.”

With the largest buyer out of the market, the NCMC and the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), who championed the bill, will now turn their attention to the international challenges facing these imperiled species. And with populations of three species of marlin having declined by more than 50%, their efforts come not a moment too soon.

“Recreational anglers and ocean conservationists have been the primary supporters behind the Billfish Conservation Act,” IGFA President Rob Kramer commented, “and I am confident that with this strong step by the United States, we will be able to raise support for more robust measures elsewhere.”

The support of the Billfish Conservation Act by groups like the American Sportfishing Association, the Center for Coastal Conservation, the Coastal Conservation Association, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Keep America Fishing, the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association, OCEARCH and numerous partners in the environmental community played an integral part in the bill’s success.

“We have sound science that indicates that billfish are not doing well on a global level,” IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser added. “Better international protection for these fish benefits open ocean ecosystems and recreational anglers around the world.”

Jessica Harvey Catches Mammoth 600-Plus Pound Swordfish Off Isla Mujeres, Mexico

July 23, 2012

Guy congratulates his daughter Jessica on her 600+ lb. swordfish catch, a new record for Isla Mujeres and the largest swordfish caught anywhere on conventional rod & reel by a female angler in 30 years.

ISLA MUJERES, MEXICO—July 22, 2012—Jessica Harvey, the 22-year-old daughter of marine icon Guy Harvey, showed that saltwater fishing skills is a family trait when she fought and landed a massive 600-plus pound swordfish—the largest caught on rod & reel by a female angler in the last 30 years and one of the largest ever on record.

The Guy Harvey Expeditions team was in Isla Mujeres to film the renowned whale shark aggregations as part of a new documentary.

Ms. Harvey, an IGFA Jr. World Record holder, took a break from filming to do a little fishing, according to her father.

Under the guidance of Capt. Anthony Mendillo and the crew of Keen M Sportfishing, Ms. Harvey using a conventional rod and reel hooked into the swordfish in 1,550 feet of water some 15 miles offshore. She battled the fish for nearly three hours.

The entire adventure was captured on film by award-winning filmmaker George Schellenger and Greg Jacoski of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

“A Celebration of Life” Memorial for Jose Wejebe Planned for April 15th at IGFA

April 12, 2012

The following information was excerpted from www.spanishflytv.com:

The fishing community has lost a great angler, icon, and friend. We are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Jose Wejebe, host of the immensely popular saltwater fishing and fly fishing television show Spanish Fly on the Outdoor Channel. Through his show and his adventures he shared a passion for fishing that touched and inspired anglers around the world.

We would like to invite all family and friends to a Celebration of Life in honor of Jose Wejebe, Sunday April 15, 2012 at 1:30 PM at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Florida. All those who were touched by Jose are welcome to attend.

Sunday, April 15th
1:30pm – 4:30pm

IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum 
300 Gulf Stream Way
Dania Beach, FL 33004

Important Information:

Upon arrival you will be directed to designated areas for family and personal friends of Jose and for fans. Please respect the family’s wishes and proceed to the appropriate areas.

Flowers can be sent to the IGFA address above or those who wish to honor the memory of Jose can follow in his footsteps by giving of themselves to those in need, and donate to the Jose Wejebe Memorial Foundation that will carry on his charitable spirit.

The Outdoor Channel will be airing a special episode of Spanish Fly : A Tribute to Jose Wejebe this weekend. You don’t want to miss this powerful and moving tribute to Jose’s life and legend. The show will also be available to view here on SpanishFlyTV.com on Monday, April 16th.

Airtimes on The Outdoor Channel :

Friday: April 13 – 12:30pm and 8:30pm
Saturday: April 14 – 11:00am
Sunday: April 15 – 10:00am

Protect Billfish Today By Asking Your Congressman to Support the Billfish Conservation Act of 2011

August 23, 2011

It’s time to take marlin off the menu! The current consumer demand for marlin and other billfish has surpassed sustainable levels, and worldwide marlin populations are being decimated by commercial fishing. The time for action is now, so the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation has joined with the International Game Fish Association and the National Coalition for Marine Conservation to promote the “Take Marlin Off the Menu” initiative.

It is currently illegal to harvest or import Atlantic-caught billfish into the U.S., but fish caught in the Pacific Ocean flood into U.S. markets in substantial numbers, threatening the survival of these fisheries. The Billfish Conservation Act of 2011 (S. 1451 andH.R. 2706), introduced into Congress on July 29, would close U.S. commercial markets to Pacific billfish, preventing their sale and importation (excluding Hawaii and Pacific Insular Island Area). Click here for a fact sheet about the Billfish Conservation Act of 2011.

In short, this important bipartisan legislation will help restore billfish populations and improve recreational fishing opportunities while concurrently creating jobs and other economic benefits.

Click here to send a message to your Members of Congress today
asking them to support the Billfish Conservation Act of 2011.

It only takes a minute to voice your support today, and in order to ensure this important bill is passed, we need your help!. Thank you for taking the time to help conserve our nation’s invaluable fisheries resources for generations to come.

Why Take Marlin off the Menu?

Marlin populations throughout the world are being wiped out by commercial overfishing. Click here to read more about this and other reasons to join the campaign to Take Marlin off the Menu.

Concerned about the health of billfish fisheries, the IGFA and the National Coalition for Marine Conservation joined forces in 2008 to create the Take Marlin off the Menu campaign. In just two short years, the campaign gained the support of such luminaries as Wolfgang Puck and the Wegmans Supermarket chain – as well as the attention of U.S. policymakers. Their support hinged largely on an Economic Analysis of International Billfish Markets which shows that the economic value of the U.S. billfish trade is almost nil in relation to the rest of the U.S. commercial fishing industry.

Your support of the Billfish Conservation Act would close the U.S. to commercial billfish harvest, importation and sale. It would have a negligible impact on the commercial industry in the U.S. while helping increase the abundance of these important apex predators and also the value of the recreational fishery, which brings in billions of dollars annually but has a minimal impact on billfish populations.

Take action today to make sure that no billfish will end up in grocery store shelves or on restaurant menus again. Click here to voice your support for the Billfish Conservation Act of 2011!

Want to do more to protect billfish? You can make a gift to the Take Marlin off the Menu campaign in a few easy steps.

Occhio Announces Sale of Marc Montocchio’s IGFA Photo Exhibition to Guy Harvey

June 15, 2011

MOREHEAD CITY, NC—June 15, 2011Occhio Limited has announced a major sale of photographic prints by acclaimed underwater photographer Marc Montocchio to celebrated marine artist, scientist and conservationist Guy Harvey.  Montocchio’s one-man show, “Marc Montocchio: A Life in the Sea”, was on exhibition at the International Game Fish Association’s Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach, Florida, from October 2010 until April 2011, and featured 23 large, dye sublimation on aluminum prints of Montocchio’s underwater photos.  Harvey has purchased the entire collection.

“I’m very happy and honored that Guy decided to buy these photographs,” said Montocchio.  “It was a big show for us and it’s great that the pictures are going to Guy.  He’s been so supportive of my work from the start, and I’m very grateful for that.”

A spokesman for Guy Harvey said some of Montocchio’s photographs will be put on display at Guy Harvey’s Gallery and Shoppe in Georgetown, Grand Cayman, and the rest will be part of Harvey’s private collection.

In addition, Occhio Limited has announced the opening of “The Guy Harvey Experience at Occhio”, featuring original artwork by Guy Harvey.  “Guy has been generous enough to display 3 original works in the gallery.” Says Montocchio.  These originals will include “Rock Star”, “Threat &Needle” and “Blue Runner”.  Accompanying the originals the Occhio Gallery will be carrying a selection of Guy Harvey’s books and reproduced art including mini prints, outdoor art, limited edition lithographs and giclées.

“We’re happy to be able to offer Guy Harvey art, merchandise and of course clothing at Occhio,” said Occhio Manager Karrie Wempen.  “And we’re thrilled to be able to display some of his beautiful, original artwork.  It’s another great draw for our gallery.”

Click here for a panoramic view of the gallery, including “The Guy Harvey Experience at Occhio”.

About Marc Montocchio

One of the most innovative and talented underwater photographers working today, Marc Montocchio specializes in capturing unique and stunning images of ocean wildlife in its natural habitat.  Montocchio’s work has appeared in numerous international publications, including Marlin Magazine, National Geographic, Africa Geographic, BlueWater, Tide, Out There, Voyages de Pêche, and many others.

IGFA Hall of Fame Induction Speech

November 8, 2009

Thanks to everyone for all the well-wishes regarding my recent induction into the IGFA Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was a grand event and I am very honored to be included in such a distingushed group of fishing pioneers and professionals. Since many of you couldn’t be at the HOF ceremony, I tought I would post my acceptance speech here. Thanks again for all the kind words and tight lines!

International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame Induction Speech  October 27, 2009

“Thank you very much Mark [Mark Sosin – 2004 IGFA HOF inductee and Masters of Ceremony for the 2009 induction event]. Mark set a standard in his TV shows for many other hosts to follow, including me, and I am particularly appreciative of your advice and assistance. I am looking forward to the day when you teach me how to catch a sailfish on a cigar!

Congratulations to the other deserving people being honored tonight. The international nature of the IGFA is reflected in the range of nationalities awarded here, a Costa Rican, an Auzzie, two Americans and a Jamaican. Jack, it’s good to see you here, mate!

International Game Fish Association web site

Ever since I can remember I have been FISHING. All that time ago, just the mention of the names like Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Glassell, John Morris, Joan Wulff, Stu Apte, Mark Sosin conjured images of pioneers in their respective fields, who I wanted to meet. Well…. I eventually did. One of the people then, who had the most dramatic impact on me was Pierre Clostermann. As a boy I had two favorite books to read, one was The Old Man and the Sea, and the other was the best unbiased narrative of the air war in the Battle of Britain from WWII, a book called “The Big Show”, by Pierre Clostermann. I would read these books every week. Then, as I grew older, I discovered that not only did Pierre Clostermann fish a great deal, but he was also an IGFA trustee. I finally met him at the first IGFA auction 25 years ago in Palm Beach, and we became great friends after that. Hemingway had been out of reach for a while, and so Pierre was my first living mentor.

There have been others along the way, people who I have met through the IGFA board or through my business and that I have admired and respected and who have made their own mark in this sport that embraces…. so many disciplines. There have been many innovators in our hundred year old sport, from boat designers, tackle inventors, authors, scientists, resource managers and administrators, all pioneers in their time, whose dedication and INDUSTRY have allowed us to arrive at this point.

I feel fortunate that I have had the SAME opportunity to be as creative as they were and transform a hobby into becoming an integral part of our sport fishing CULTURE and HERITAGE.

I am certainly not the first, there being several other successful marine sport fishing artists to have made their mark; Lynne Bogue Hunt, (already in the HoF), Stanley Meltzoff, Russ Smiley, Kent Ullberg, Al Barnes, and Don Ray to name the best. The CHALLENGE has been in creating the process whereby this art is made available to a wide cross section of society. I had a lot of help from a series of wonderful people in the last two decades, many of whom are here tonight, but I must thank the late Scott Boyd, Barbara Currie, Charlie Forman and Raleigh Werking who got the process going, and more recently Bill Shedd and his AFTCO team who have taken the business to new heights. In those early years I received considerable support and encouragement from the IGFA through the efforts of the late chairman Elwood Harry, and the immediate past President of IGFA, Mike Leech.

Of all the other artists in this genre, Kent Ullberg has been my reference and guiding force, a man whose illustrious fine art career is littered with awards. Kent has helped our tiny niche to make a very large impact in the world of WILD LIFE ART which has even raised a few eyebrows in the realm of FINE ART.

This profession has been and continues to be most gratifying. The process of creating new work, inspired by a myriad of encounters above and below the surface, is exciting enough. I have visited many exotic angling locations, but ONLY A FEW have tolerated my presence more than once…. particularly Tropic Star Lodge which is the greatest big game angling destination in the western hemisphere. Such is the inspiration derived from this unique place that I recently completed a 334 page book about the angling history and magnificent fishery this remote location has to offer. In these pages I was able to engage all my disciplines; art, photography, TV documentaries, science, conservation and story-telling….boy are there some stories! After all….It’s a book about… FISHING.

I have just released another book, called “Fishes of the Open Ocean“, authored by well known Australian fish biologist Dr. Julian Pepperell and with 170 images illustrated by me. It is the first reference book of its kind, which describes all the fish that inhabit the epi- pelagic zone of the open ocean at some point in their life history. Here Julian needed my services as a fish illustrator, and I was very glad to assist him with this book.

In the thirty years that I have been in the business of painting marine wildlife there have been many failures, but fortunately more successes. And with that success there comes… RESPONSIBILITY. During this same time we have witnessed the rapid decline of species that are the ICONS of our sport. Human population growth and the increasing demand for protein have brought many species to the brink of extinction. Nowadays, many of us sitting in this room, spend more time trying to save these creatures rather than actually fishing for them. For wild life artists generally, the task at hand is to reflect this concern in our work, and as more environmental issues come to the fore, so my art and that of other artists and their subject matter becomes more relevant in people’s personal experience and in what they see happening around them.

Delivering my IGFA Hall of Fame induction speech, October 27, 2009. What a great honor!

This concern has been the driving force in the formation of the Guy Harvey Research Institute ten years ago, and more recently the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, my new organization mandated to raise funds necessary to carry out research work and to conduct education and outreach. The demise of all these species is CONSUMER driven, so now the emphasis is to educate consumers about ISSUES that face marine resources. To most people, any creature living beneath the surface is out of sight, therefore OUT OF MIND. In a restaurant or supermarket situation, the consumer gives little consideration to what species this is or from whence it came.

Research… followed by education… leads to conservation. My goal has been and continues to be… raise the funds for research, and use the art and TV to educate the consumer… for whom conservation will become second nature.

I have many people I want to thank, but firstly I want to thank the IGFA for giving me this recognition, which is in acknowledgement of a TEAM EFFORT. I am very fortunate in that I have a great TEAM at Guy Harvey Inc., (Steve, Harvey, Missy, Pat, Jay, Todd and Greg) and in Grand Cayman, James, Mariasol and Bruno all of whom have contributed a huge amount of effort and loyalty toward achieving our goal. In addition I want to thank our MAJOR partners; Bill Shedd and the AFTCO team, and Peter MacFarland with his team at the Guy Harvey Island Grill.

There are some other unique personalities I have met along this route, one of whom is Bill Boyce. Bill has been a great friend for many years and whose angling ability, photographic magic, friendship and zest for life have all resulted in some unique experiences in many far flung locations. Another such person is Tim Choate who has pioneered many of the great fishing destinations I have been fortunate enough to visit, such as in Guatemala, and the Galapagos. Tim’s latest project has been the coordination of the governments of Central America, through CABA, to recognize billfish as a recreational fishing resource. Keep up the good work my friend.

  I want to acknowledge the continued assistance of my TV director and producer, Ken Kavanaugh at Bonnier Corporation, plus two tremendous camera guys, Rick Westphal, and Dee Gele, who foolishly followed me around several continents for five years getting into harm’s way. Diana Udel has also played a very important role in producing my first TV series, and in the landmark documentary we produced for PBS, “BILLFISH, NOMADS OF THE OCEANS.”

 David Ritchie has made a big impact as editorial director at Bonnier Corporation and has edited two of my four books, the most recent one being “Panama Paradise: A tribute to Tropic Star Lodge”.

I want to thank all the great captains and mates who have shared their vast knowledge and experiences with me, and put me on some great fish both topside and… in underwater encounters. Among them are Bobby Dehart, the late Dan Timmons, Clay Hensley, the late Jim Davis, Laurie Wright, Trevor Cockle, Skip Smith, O.B. O’Bryan, Jimmy Grant, Travis Peterson, Barkey Garnsey, Peter Wright and Anthony Mendillo, plus some of the amazing captains in Guatemala and Costa Rica, but particularly those captains and mates at Tropic Star Lodge in Panama.

I want to acknowledge the significant role played by Dr. Mahmood Shivji at the GHRI and Dean Dick Dodge at NSU Oceanographic Centre. Many of you will have read about Mahmood’s research efforts mostly on sharks, sponsored by funds generated from my licensing programs.

Family; They are HERE! I have my Mum, two brothers Jonno and Piers, his wife Connie and daughter Mikayla. My beautiful wife Gillian is here plus my daughter Jessica, and my son Alexander. Luckily we have been able to wet a line or two together, and go for some exciting dives with them over the years. By the way, my Mum was the first lady angler in Jamaica, to catch two blue marlin in one day back in 1967.

Thank you for supporting the IGFA. Please have a great evening and I look forward to seeing many of you back here tomorrow night for the 2nd annual fundraiser and auction to support the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.