2014-15 IGFA Great Marlin Race winner crowned
In the IGFA Great Marlin Race, the satellite tag that travels the farthest from its point of deployment wins the race for that event.
The tag that travels farthest of all in a given race year is crowned the overall winner for the year, and the tag sponsor(s) will receive airfare and a ticket to be recognized at the annual IGFA International Auction and Banquet in Florida the following January. The overall IGMR winner is announced on Oct. 1.
Once all the data is received from a tag, a series of plots are generated to visualize temperature and depth preferences, diving behavior and water column conditions.
By using the light-based geo-locations from each tag, researchers are able to determine where each tag pops up (which determines the winner of each race). The light data also allows researchers to produce the statistically robust paths that each IGMR billfish swims.
The data is then compiled to create comprehensive race reports for each IGMR sponsor and participant.
The total estimated distance is based on the length of a “best-guess” track calculated using light and sea surface temperature measurements from the tag and a complex mathematical algorithm.
Since each location along the track potentially has significant error associated with it, the IGMR instead uses the reliable and more precise linear distance (the point of tag deployment determined by GPS to the point of tag pop-up determined by Argos satellites) to establish IGMR results and winners.
After ten successful tagging events in seven countries around the globe, the 2014-15 IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) year has come to a close!
The 2014-15 race year was the largest race season to date, with a total of 63 tags deployed on 27 black marlin, 20 blue marlin, eight striped marlin, six shortbill spearfish and two sailfish in the Bahamas, USA, Nicaragua, Australia, Seychelles, Panama and Costa Rica.
Combined, these fish swam a total linear distance (the point the tag is deployed to the point the tag pops up) of 57,085 nautical miles! One fish, however, was responsible for swimming 10 percent of the total distance.
On Oct. 28, 2014, during the 2014 Lizard Island, Australia IGMR, Mark Paterson reeled in an estimated 499 kilogram (1,100-pound) black marlin while fishing aboard Kalira with Capt Ashley Wallis.
Exactly 180 days later, after the healthy release, the tag popped up to reveal the fish swam an incredible distance of 5,716 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean, nearly reaching South America!
Congratulations to Ernesto Bertarelli, the winning sponsor of the 2014-15 race year! His winning fish is not only the longest distance swam by any billfish in the IGFA Great Marlin Race, but it is the longest linear distance ever recorded on a billfish by an electronic tag.
The Bertarelli Foundation has been a valued supporter of the Great Northern Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic and has generously sponsored 25 tags for the IGFA Great Marlin Race, 15 of which were deployed during the 2014 Lizard Island, Australia IGMR.
The IGFA is thrilled to invite and honor the Bertarelli Foundation during the 32nd annual IGFA International Auction & Banquet on Jan. 29, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.