Seychelles fishing tournament ‘Heineken Slam’ underway, first Billfish Release Cup up for grabs
A group of friends having a good time at sea on Special K(Winning Team)..during The Heineken Fishing Tournament 2013 (Faizal Yakub Suleman, SSFC Facebook)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Anglers woke up and departed the main Seychelles island of Mahé in the early hours of this morning to kick-off the Seychelles Sports Fishing Club’s (SSFC) Heineken Slam and the first ever Seychelles Billfish Release Challenge organized by SSFC and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
In what always proves to be one of the most challenging tournaments on the sports fishing calendar, all teams are in search of the coveted Slam which consists of catching a wahoo, yellowfin tuna and dorado.
This year's SSFC Heineken Slam will also prove to be a milestone tournament within SSFC and Seychelles. In addition to Heineken supporting this event for the last 4 years, SSFC is also teaming up with World Wide Fund for Nature and The Billfish Foundation to begin the "tag and release" programme which will increase the opportunities to gather scientific data for the billfish species that are in Seychelles waters and the surrounding Indian Ocean region.
It is in an effort to reinforce its conservation message that SSFC has teamed up with WWF to get the anglers to participate in the inaugural Billfish Release Challenge.
In order to prepare everyone for the tag and release program, SSFC held training sessions over the past 2 weeks to educate anglers on "How to Tag a Billfish."To qualify to be Billfish Release Winner, all teams must "tag and release" all billfish (such as blue marlins, sailfish and swordfish) caught in the tournament and present a video of the tag and release for verification to capture their points.
In addition to releasing billfish, a minimum weight limit of 5kg is required for yellowfin tuna and wahoo to encourage anglers to release undersized fish.
"We will not see results immediately but with continued tagging efforts from our members and sports fishermen in Seychelles, we will learn where the fish in Seychelles waters go after they are captured.
When we have a recapture of a Seychelles tagged billfish, we will look back on this tournament as where it all began."
|Billfish release trophy (SSFC) Photo license: Attribution|