The BTT Approach

Mission: To protect and conserve global bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and habitats through stewardship, research, education and advocacy.

BTT uses a Vertically Integrated Approach to its mission, determining the status of knowledge and conservation threats for bonefish, tarpon, and permit, funding research to address issues of concern, and applying the research findings to conservation and education. In other words, BTT addresses issues from bottom to top. The steps are:

1. Identify knowledge gaps and conservation priorities. This is done using Research Frameworks, which assess the status of knowledge for each species and rank funding priorities based on a combination of knowledge and threats.

2. Fund and conduct research to address these priorities. Funds are allocated based on priority rankings, and BTT works with scientific collaborators to ensure the research is funded and conducted.

3. Apply findings to conservation. Although it is important for the research findings to be published in the scientific literature to confirm their validity and to contribute to a better scientific knowledge of bonefish, tarpon, and permit, this is not enough. BTT uses research to inform natural resource management agencies so that their conservation strategies include the most relevant information.

4. Educate the public. BTT undertakes considerable effort to translate research findings into laymen terms for education. Better informed anglers and guides make better stewards of the fisheries.

This focus, along with extensive help from sponsors, partners, collaborators, and volunteers, has allowed BTT to make a strong impact with limited resources. Examples of ongoing work that follows BTT’s vertically integrated approach are shown in the following figures.