Beel den Stormer Presents the Only Fishery Blog You Need

Fish, Fisheries and Queryomics

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to Take Action on Tarpon

Bonefish on the Brain recently commented on a vote by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, last Wednesday, to end “gaff and drag” fishing by making making tarpon a catch-and-release only species.  Sweet, says Beel.  (See also the more detailed report by Save the Tarpon.)

This form of fishing was practiced by the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series until it came under public scrutiny by Save the Tarpon and others. The Professional Tarpon Tournament Series conducted live-release tournaments in which fish could be gaffed and then towed to weigh-in sites before release.  Please friends, allow Beel to present a video, posted by Save the Tarpon, showing how live release works:

What’s the beef, Beel asks?  The fish was released alive! If it wants to sun itself on the beach, you know, catching some rays, its the fish’s business.  Presumably, that is the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series’s attitude.

Last year, Save the Tarpon began a campaign to end gaff and drag fishing.  This was not taken too well by tournament organizers.  In response to a Save the Tarpon proposal, Gary Ingman, owner of the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series stated, “We will stop weighing those fish when the state ends possession of tarpon.” (source)

Later (September 2012), as the State begain to consider ending tarpon possession, the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series had changed its postion: “We will no longer allow teams to gaff, tow, and weigh in their catch. Rather, weights will be determined by a measurement of the fish’s length and girth,” tournament host Joe Mercurio pre-emptively told the seven-member commission, in an obvious attempt to prevent any serious regulation of tarpon fishing.

Just three three months earlier Mercurio defiantly stated that the Tarpon Tournament Series would continue practicing gaff, tow and weigh until “someone” told him to stop. 

The Professional Tarpon Tournament Series is making money off a public resource, mostly through televising its events.  For a business dependent on the media, it is not too savy and is having its ass handed to it.  Arrogance is not too becoming, especially when you pose for pictures like this:

Rodney Taucher Professional Tarpon Tournament Series co-owner stepping on a dead tarpon while wearing a sponor's (Tires Plus Total Car Care Inc.) tshirt

Left:  Professional Tarpon Tournament Series co-owner Rodney Taucher stepping on a dead tarpon (photo source) Right: Same photograph doctored by some wag. Beel loves it! (photo source) Click on photographs to embiggen.

What an idiot!  It’s a bad enough photograph from a public relations perspective and invites the doctoring you see above.  However, the tarpon being stepped on was released live at a Womens Professional Tarpon Tournament Series event.  This is worst than the Australians tossing an endangered bluefin tuna at the Tunarama.

But wait, says Beel.  It gets even better.  The tshirt worn by this buffoon is that of one his sponors.

Save the Tarpon recently reported, Tires Plus Total Car Care Inc.,  through its parent company Bridgestone/Firestone, has confirmed it is withdrawing its sponsorship of the 2013 Professional Tarpon Tournament Series as a result of efforts by Save The Tarpon’s more than 12,000 members and supporters worldwide. Well, that and the embarassment of being associated with Taucher.

These guys are as dumb as the red-faced guy who was convicted of molesting great white sharks.

Related stories:

Tunarama Festival, Australia

Red-faced Man Guilty of Molesting Great White Shark

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2013 by in Commentary, Conservation, Fishing and angling and tagged , , , , .
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