Striped Marlin Wins Great Marlin Race for First Time

For the first time in the history of IGFA’s Great Marlin Race, a striped marlin has won first place, traveling 1,397 nautical miles in 216 days.

striped marlin track
Winning tag provided by the Dana Angling Club for the IGMR, shows their striped marlin’s track that led them to victory.Courtesy IGFA.org

As the International Game Fish Association’s sixth annual Great Marlin Race comes to an end, there is a new species to add to the plaque of champions. A small striped marlin, weighing an estimated 80 pounds, traveled more distance in its time at liberty than any other marlin this year. Although the straight-line distance from where the fish was caught to where the tag was found (the distance counted for the tournament) is 1,397 nautical miles, the actual estimated distance the fish swam is an extraordinary 5,560 nautical miles. Striped marlin are the third-most-tagged species of marlin every year during the IGMR, behind blue marlin and black marlin that vary in weight from 200 to 1000 pounds.

jumping striped marlin caught saltwater fishing
Striped marlin can grow to 500 pounds but in most areas are rare more than half that size.Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

As the race continues to grow, to include a number of continents and more tournaments, the number and variety of fish tagged grows as well. This provides researchers with a greater amount of useful information regarding marlins’ behavior and migrating patterns. It’s also shared with scientists and other fishery managers to help better protect these amazing fish.

Check out this distance long record set in the 2014-2015 year where a marlin swam 5,716 nautical miles!

IGFA website states, “This effort will increase understanding of distribution, population structure and biology of marlin and engage anglers and the general public in the research process. By increasing our understanding of where these animals go and how they use the pelagic ecosystem, we will provide valuable information to the resource managers and policy makers responsible for ensuring their long-term conservation.”

See more on the IGMR

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