I have always loved the bluefin tuna as well as other tunas like the yellowfin and bigeye and cannot stand idle and watch the challenges continue to mount for these great gamefish. I have been a long time recreational angler, commercial fished for salmon in Alaska and spent some time working at a fishing magazine (Salt Water Sportsman). I decided to merge my love for tuna and my full time career in technology by starting the Atlantic Tuna Project and launching this site SaveTheBluefin. The main idea is to change the culture and mind-frame aboard charter and private sportfishing boats. I started this effort as a simple blog, back in 2009 and since has grown into the far reaching tagging program it is today. I have many folks to thank for their support and encouragement, often in times of adversary. Today I am proud to realize the dream of providing a simple and easy way for any recreational offshore angler to practice conservation. I am not a scientist or researcher. All the tag information and data is sent through NOAA's Cooperative Tagging Center which helps inform domestic and international fishery management issues. This program's main goal is to change the culture aboard recreational (charter and private) sportfishing boats to consider tunas as a resource worth protecting. Specifically the program aims to activate the practice of catch, tag and release by allowing anglers free and easy access to tags, tagging gear and education.
Although tag returns are incredibly exciting, this is not the reason why I engage in these efforts. I believe there is great value in introducing anglers to an alternative style of fishing where conservation plays a role, no matter if you get a tag return or not. Through this effort I have the great privilege to see anglers, some young enough when catching their first tuna, who decide to tag and release instead of kill and take. To be clear, this effort encourages anglers to keep what is legal, and to also think about tag and release. After many years, the data shows that conservation peaks when the fishing if good. Because I advocate tag and release, I sometimes get confused with staunch no kill policies. This is not the case. I am fully aware that when you fish in the ocean with a hook, you will by default kill a fish. But it's how many fish you do kill, and how you treat every fish that is hooked that makes the difference. This is where my passions lies.
This site, effort and movement continues to grow beyond my wildest dreams. If you told me back in 2009, that a small, unread blog would turn into this kind of a program and would influence so many lives, I would say you crazy. The people I have met on this journey humble me. The supporters of this project humble me.
As the site evolves there are may exciting days ahead. Thanks for spending a few minutes here. Shoot an email if you have any questions, wish to write a guest blog post, or help in any way to savethebluefintuna(at)gmail(dot)com. Really the best way to reach me is through this site so become a member and leave a comment on my page. You can also follow us on Twitter here.
Working for a better tuna future,