Marlin: Will We Ever See A Giant One Again?

blue marlin

Image Source:

Marlins are the largest of the billfish and travel at vast speeds of up to 60 miles an hour with migration patterns that span 9,000 miles. They are spectacular creatures that are a daunting challenge to catch. These legendary creatures of the sea are one of anglers most celebrated catches. The blue marlin is probably the most prized catch of all the marlin due to its size and the challenge it gives even the most experienced sport fishermen. But it has been over 20 years since the a world record has been broken for these billfish.

World Records For Marlin

Black Marlin 1560 lb August 4th, 1953

Pacific Blue 1376 lb May 31st, 1982

Atlantic Blue 1402 lb February 29, 1992

Striped Marlin 494 lb January 16th, 1986

Do Marlins still exist in our oceans that can break these all time records?

Marlin jumping out of water

Image Source:

Blue and black marlins are creatures of the open ocean known to roam far and wide.  The oceans cover almost three quarters of the earth’s surface of mainly tropical and subtropical seas that are the habitat for these billfish. Sport fishermen have fished extensively in relatively small parts of the ocean’s vast waters. Commercial fishermen cover large areas depleting fish stocks through overfishing and their practices. As a result, fish populations all over the world are being impacted. In order to maintain healthy fish populations, protecting fish from overfishing is critical. In order to ensure the protection of fish stocks, catch and release policies have been implemented along with commercial fishing regulations to help ensure the healthy survival of the world’s most treasured game fish.  In the Pacific, Costa Rica remains a favorite spot for billfish fishing, especially marlin, since it is a highly trafficked area in the migration paths of marlin.

Striped marlin

Image Source:

Removal of stock before they have a chance to spawn is the fastest way to ensure a rapid decline of a particular species. Removal of juveniles before they reproduce makes the situation dire and extinction almost inevitable. This point is exemplified by the collapse of the east coast swordfish populations.  Constant removal of larger sized fish have seen the average weight plummet, and it is now very rare to see a full grown adult. The size of marlins is determined by gene pool and environmental factors just as it is for humans. The gene pool has been weakened as a result of overfishing combined with ocean pollution.

marlin in the water

Image Source:

Many world-class records have been set here by anglers that travel to these waters every year and who have played a significant role in ensuring the protection of these species.  It can not be emphasized enough the importance of fishing responsibly when you are deep offshore waiting for a marlin. In order to break the world record for the Pacific blue set in 1982, it is clear that allowing these marlin to reproduce, grow full size and increase in numbers is critical. It will strengthen the gene pool. Many resorts support responsible fishing and are able to provide sport fishermen traveling to the region with the necessary high tech gear and equipment to ensure excellent conditions for fishing.  Of course, you will want to bring your unlocked phone with you so you can tweet and Facebook your friends and family in real time of your marlin catching adventure. Perhaps one of Crocodile Bay‘s lucky guests will be the next person to break one of these world records sometime in the near future. We sure hope so.