In response to a recent paper in Marine Policy condemning the trophy fishing of threatened species, the International Game Fish Association has issued a rejoinder that allegedly points out flaws in the researchers’ reasoning.
The study’s authors argued that trophy fishing for threatened species disproportionately targets pregnant individuals that are vital to the sustenance of at-risk populations. However, the IGFA contends that 75 of the 85 threatened species for which they award All-Tackle records were designated as such in the past 20 years, and during that period only 15 All-Tackle applications were submitted for those species.
It’s global fisheries, the IGFA says, not trophy fishing, that are seriously affecting threatened populations. For instance, while 293,695 metric tons of the critically endangered southern bluefin tuna were captured between 1991 and 2001, only one All-Tackle application was submitted for the species in the same period.
That individual weighed 167.5 kg, or 0.00005 percent of the total catch.