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January 30, 2013

Miami Charter Team Tags Record 1,000 Sailfish

NOAA Fisheries Says the Thomas Brothers’ Efforts Represent a Tagging Record for Any Single Atlantic Billfish Species...

A pair of Miami’s best-known charter captains have been recognized by NOAA Fisheries for having tagged more than 1,000 sailfish — a record for any Atantic billfish species, according to Allison Garrett with NOAA.

Jim “Jimbo” and Rick Thomas operate the charter-boat Thomas Flyer from downtown Miami’s Bayside Marina. They’ve been fishing and chartering the waters of south Florida and the Bahamas for decades. The team started seriously tagging in 2003 and has tagged an average of more than 120 sails per year.

On top of this recognition, the Thomas brothers are also top taggers of dolphin (mahi) for the Dolphinfish Research Program based out of South Carolina.

“This duo has helped scientists better understand the survival and mortality rates, spatial distributions and overall health of the Atlantic sailfish,” says Garrett.

NOAA’s Cooperative Tagging Program relies on recreational anglers to help deploy the free tags it provides in sailfish, swordfish and tunas. For more information email tagging@noaa.gov or call 800-437-3936.