January 19, 2023
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) is concerned about the newly established SFC Tarpon Championship Series (TCS), which has announced nationally televised tournaments in Islamorada (March 28-30), Charlotte Harbor (April 4-6), and Sarasota (April 20-22). As the only organization focused on restoring the regional tarpon fishery through science-based conservation, stewardship and advocacy, BTT believes the rules, media coverage and spirit of the TCS will promote unsustainable fishing practices that threaten tarpon—something we and our partners have long fought to prevent. Counted among our concerns are:
In a meeting with tournament organizers on January 18, organized by Locke + Key Productions, BTT joined Florida Keys fishing guides and their associations and other partners in calling on SFC to reconsider the ramifications of its tournaments on the tarpon fishery. Concerns raised at the meeting included those outlined above as well as:
BTT stands with the Keys fishing community and requests that SFC give serious consideration to the feedback expressed by the local community members. BTT will remain in close consultation with our partners, especially fishing guides and their associations whose leadership and commitment we respect. Working with fishing guides and their associations to ensure the long-term healthy and sustainability of the Florida Keys tarpon fishery is one of BTT’s highest priorities. We will continue to fight against irresponsible ventures that only add more strain to the important resource.
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