The International Billfish Tournament, the longest consecutively held international billfish tournament in the world


August 2009
FACT SHEET - International Billfish Tournament of Club NÁUtico de San Juan, 56th Edition

Year Established 1954
Positioning Longest consecutively held big game fishing tournament in the world — 55 years of uninterrupted fishing.
Objectives Fully committed to sport fishing and conservation of the “Atlantic Blue Marlin” species for future generations to enjoy.
Numbers of Competitors In 2008, competed approximately 240 anglers, including 30 internationals traveling from abroad. Ladies also participate.
Number of Boats In these past few years of harsh economic times, approximately 50 battlewagons.
Full Moon and the Season Since deep sea fishing is always better in days previous to full moon, the Tournament’s dates are decided depending on the full moon, specifically between August and September.
Organizing Committee            A 35 member committee works for the event.

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Deep sea fishing ambassador
He also directed the 55th edition.

Angling Area To the East up to Longitude 65 degrees, 45 minutes West (Punta Picúa Buoy, approximately) and to the West, up to Longitude 66 degrees, 25 minutes West (Vega Baja Beach, approximately.) There’s no limit to the North.
Tournament’s Achievement

Pioneers in the Tag & Release Format (1987-2002)           
In 1987, Club Náutico de San Juan was the first World organization to establish the modified release format. Two years later, in 1989, the U.S. Government ruled that all billfish under 200 pounds must remain in water, by virtue of the Magnuson Act, a Federal regulation that protects sports fishing.

From that time on, the mainstream of worldwide tournaments adopted the modified release format as a competition system, which was initiated by Club Náutico de San Juan.

Tag & Release Marlins tagged in Puerto Rico coastal waters have been recovered in other coasts as far as Africa, Venezuela or Florida providing valuable information about the species migratory patterns.
”All-Release” Format In 2003, and as conclusion of the 50th Edition, the event changed into an “All-Release” tournament: not a single billfish may be angled or brought on board during the competition.
Rules of the Tournament The International Tournament is ruled by the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA), a non for profit organization founded in 1939 that promotes a range of regulations for this sport internationally, and collects and keeps world records. The Tournament is an active member of IGFA and active collaborator of the organization.


Adopt-A-Billfish Program
In 2003, The Tournament –in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—was a pioneer in the deployment of electronic, satellite-controlled pop-up tags for scientific research. Then, Dr. Eric Prince from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center of Miami, directed this initiative here in San Juan. “I wouldn’t do this in any other Tournament in the world”, said Dr. Prince.
The Billfish Foundation A prestigious organization in the United States and abroad, founded by several sport fishing enthusiasts, including participants and members of the Organizing Committee of the International Billfish Tournament of CNSJ.
North Trench Natural geological trench located North of the San Juan Bay. It’s an area that allows easy access to big game fishing.
Media Media from Japan, Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand, and South America have given wide exposure to the Tournament, as well as European publications. ESPN, the United States sports network, has been several times in Puerto Rico filming the events of the Tournament.
Marlin Magazine Marlin Magazine (March, 1999) chose the Tournament as one of the 10 Favorite Tournaments in the World.
Photographers In 2007, the Tournament received photographer Richard Gibson, one of the best sports fishing photographers in the world. In 2008 and 2009 received professional photographer Scott Kerrigan.