Chris Gatley: Bluefin tuna – ESPN


The recent adjustments to bluefin tuna regulations are sure to have an impact on many tuna fisherman this season.

As it stands, the recreational sector may harvest one bluefin measuring from 27 inches to less than 59 inches per trip, per vessel. I am sure has the regulations have their reasoning, but has common sense factored into the final decision of the National Marine Fisheries Service?

Tournament tuna angler and conservationist Matt Boomer of Maryland would like to see the NMFS consider regulations that allow each vessel to harvest one fish below (say 50 inches) or closely above 59 inches. During the tuna battle, quick decisions can then be made by the captain to either harvest that fish or let him go without further harm to any and all tuna during the measuring process.

Chris Gatley: Bluefin tuna – ESPN


Virginia saltwater anglers behind on registration


According to NOAA Fisheries, Virginia saltwater anglers are lagging far behind other coastal states when it comes to a national law that requires registration with the National Saltwater Angler Registry.

In its first year, the registry is designed to help fisheries managers compile better catch information that is important to determining quotas and bag limits.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission spokesman John Bull said there are an estimated 750,000 saltwater anglers in Virginia. NOAA said that in the first six months of the registry, only 26,378 had registered.

Virginia saltwater anglers behind on registration | |

104-foot craft destroyed by fire in West Palm Beach; one firefighter slightly injured


Fire Rescue crews put out a fire on an 104-foot pleasure craft returning from the Bahamas Sunday morning that pulled into Rybovich Marina at 45th Street and Flagler Drive. The "Ladiva" boat was heading toward the Palm Beach Inlet when there was an exhaust leak onboard. The captain pulled into the nearest dock that he could find, which was Rybovich, and the crew evacuated the ship. The boat contained 3,000 gallons of fuel

104-foot craft destroyed by fire in West Palm Beach; one firefighter slightly injured

Where is the honor when a million dollars is at stake?


According to interviews later with anglers and the mate without a license, Peter Wann, the high emotions onboard the boat that afternoon died down quickly. Just moments after stretching out the large marlin in the cockpit, Wann admitted asking the captain if the boat had a blanket N.C. Recreational Fishing License since that’s the situation he was accustomed to working under on charter boats.
But the Citation was no longer a charter boat, although it had been with Wann aboard as a fill-in mate before it was sold a year prior, and he reportedly attempted to verify his license standings online from the boat after the marlin was caught. He later said the state website showed his license had expired, so he renewed it online

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Fishing license dispute costs Virginia team $1 million prize in Outer Banks Big Rock Blue Marlin contest


"My eyes were wide," Wann said of the June 14 catch. "Once it got up, everybody started freaking out, saying, ‘Holy smokes!’ Everybody was so excited."

But as the exhausted and elated teammates steamed back to shore — certain that their catch would win the grand prize of nearly $1 million in the annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament — they began checking to make sure the paperwork was in order. Wann’s heart sank when he read the rule book. He thought the entire boat was licensed to compete. Turns out, all individuals had to have a valid state fishing license. Even Wann, the hired first mate.

Fishing license dispute costs Virginia team $1 million prize in Outer Banks Big Rock Blue Marlin contest

BIG ROCK DECISION: Citation disqualified


Three days after the 52nd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament was supposed to conclude, a winner was crowned Tuesday afternoon following an investigation into a rules violation on the boat Citation, which had led the tournament since Monday, June 14, with an 883-pound blue marlin.
The Big Rock Board of Directors decided Tuesday to disqualify the Citation fish after a rules violation that the mate, Peter Martin Wann of Alexandria, Va., didn’t have an N.C. Recreational Fishing License came to the board’s attention just before the start of the awards ceremony Saturday night.
In light of the decision, the winner of the 52nd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament was determined to be the Cape Carteret charter boat based out of Morehead City, Carnivore.
The Carnivore crew and Capt. Ed Petrilli will receive an estimated Big Rock Tournament record prize of $999,453.


Big Rock tournament director Crystal Watters released a press release stating,
“After interviewing members of the crew of the fishing vessel Citation, review of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament rules, consulting the Division of Marine Fisheries as well as the North Carolina Attorney General’s office, it is apparent that there has been a substantial violation of tournament rules.
“The Board of Directors has unanimously determined that they have no choice but to disqualify the 883-pound blue marlin caught on June 14, 2010.
“The rule violation did not involve dishonesty or cheating on the part of the owners or angler of the Citation.
“The rule violation involves the mate not having a Coastal Recreational Fishing License.  This license is required by North Carolina law. It is required by the tournament as written in our rules. Participants and crew were reminded of the license requirement at the Captains meeting prior to the tournament.
“The mate engaged in fishing activities without a valid license and later obtained a license at 5:51 p.m. while heading to the weigh station. The fish was boated at 3:16 p.m.
“This is an unfortunate situation for the crew of Citation as well as the tournament itself. For the integrity of the tournament, Big Rock has no choice but to enforce the rules and disqualify the fish.
“Because of this disqualification, The Big Rock Board of Directors declare Carnivore in first place with their 528.3-pound blue marlin and in second place Wet-N-Wild with their 460-pound blue marlin.”
For the full story, reactions from the crews of Citation, Carnivore and Wet-n-Wild and remarks from the Big Rock board of directors, read the Wednesday print edition of The News Times.

Carteret County News-Times > News-times > News > BIG ROCK DECISION: Citation disqualified (update)

BIG ROCK: Angler says mate lacked license (update)


Sunday morning, Big Rock tournament director Crystal Watters released a statement, saying, “The Big Rock Blue Marlin Board of Directors withheld presentation of blue marlin prize money until an alleged rules violation by the top team has been totally researched and a decision made regarding this alleged violation.”

When reached for comment Sunday afternoon after rumors of disqualification had surfaced, a member of the Big Rock Board of Directors, who preferred not being named, neither confirmed nor denied that the rumor associated with the Citation mate but did say there had been no decision by the board at that point to disqualify the fish.
The source added that information on the board’s decision whether or not to disqualify the fish would not come until Monday afternoon.
But, Citation angler Andy Thomasson of Richmond, Va., tells a different story.

“We met with Big Rock officials this morning,” he said from Hatteras when contacted by phone Sunday night, “and our mate misled that he had a license when he did not. They pointed to Rule 9 and disqualified our fish and told us there was no record and no award.”
According to Big Rock Tournament Rule No. 9, a license is required for captains, anglers and mates of boats fishing in the tournament.
“Someone is afoul,” added Thomasson when asked if tournament officials had already made a decision. “Our position was that our mate should be punished because he individually broke the rules, not the whole boat being punished. This was an individual error, and the mate never touched the rod or had anything to do with that part of catching the fish.”
Rule 9 of the official tournament rules states: “All boats must have one of the following valid permits – HMS (Highly Migratory Species) Angling (recreational), HMS Charter/Headboat or Atlantic Tunas General Category Permit (commercial). Permits will be valid from the date of issuance through Dec. 31, 2010. Permits must be on board the vessel when engaged in fishing.
“The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will require a recreational fishing license for anyone participating in fishing aboard a vessel. This includes a license for the captain, the mate and the anglers. These individual licenses can be purchased on a 10-day, annual or lifetime basis.

“A participant is responsible for knowing all state and federal regulations or any recent changes that may occur.”
Annual recreation fishing licenses are sold to North Carolina residents at $15, while the cost for non-residents is $30. A 10-day license, which would cover the entirety of the six-day Big Rock event, cost residents $5 and non-residents $10.
If there is no disqualification at this point, the Citation fish is still in line to win $912,825 of the total $1,664,450 purse. Also, the Ed Petrilli-captained boat Carnivore out of Cape Carteret, with angler John Parks, would finish second with their 528.3-pound blue marlin weighed in on the third day of fishing. And the Beaufort-based boat Wet-n-Wild, helmed by Capt. Tony Ross would finish third after angler Joseph Engleby weighed in a 460-pound blue marlin on the fifth day Friday.
The tournament ended Saturday after six days of fishing. Citation sat atop the leader board from start to finish.
The Carnivore was set to receive $217,570 and the crew of Wet-n-Wild was ready to accept a check for $144,380 Saturday night. But all that could change if the Citation fish is disqualified, and the Carnivore would then be in line to receive a Big Rock record of its own — the first-ever payout of over $1 million.

Carteret County News-Times > News-times > News > BIG ROCK: Angler says mate lacked license (update)

Big Rock Citation Award Press Release

Off of Big Rocks Facebook Page:

The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament Big Rock fans, thank you for following The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. Please be patient and refrain from comment until all information is received and a final decision from the board of directors is reached. A press release will be sent out before 5:00 pm on Monday.
The tournament thanks everyone who participate…d in this week’s event.