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Tarpon Kill Tournament Still a Tradition

Posted on May 09 2005

In our opinion the worst thing about kill tournaments for fish like tarpon is not the death of the animals; it’s the message that the rules send to the community of anglers (and soon-to-be anglers) about acceptable behavior, connecting dead fish to prize money. Nonetheless a 71-year-old St. Petersburg, Florida tournament does manage to kill 94 percent of all tarpon killed in the Florida by anglers. In Florida Sportsman.
In a related piece, Sandy Moret talks about putting Diana Rudolph’s recent killing of a 135-pound tarpon (see “The Debate Over Killing Tarpon for Records“) in perspective. “At that time [1986], when an estimated that 5,000 to 8,000 tarpon were killed in Florida each year, the Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association and many concerned Keys anglers prompted the state to implement the current tarpon tag regulations.” Sandy also points out correctly that the greatest damage to tarpon stocks happens elsewhere on Caribbean’s periphery.
(Thanks to reader David Dalu for these links.)

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