Fri | Dec 13, 2019

The 56th Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament is back!

Published:Sunday | September 29, 2019 | 12:06 AMRocheda Bartley - Gleaner Writer
Baiting the lines for fishing aboard the Bajan vessel ‘The Shooter’ on October 12, 2005.
A winning catch.
Nicholas Scott pose beside the marlin he caught.
File Photos This German youngster is keen to make an important point (albeit in German) about these two dolphin fish during the Port Antonio International Marlin and Canoe Tournament in Portland.
Canoe men preparing for their day at Sea in the Marlin tournament in Port Antonio.
Scenes at the Port Antonio International Marlin and Canoe Tournament held in Port Antonio, Portland, October 2-4, 2006.
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It’s the season of intense excitement, merriment and fishing. The 56th Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament is well under way.

Organised by the Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association in Portland, the week-long thrilling tournament kicked off yesterday.

There’s plenty of buzz around this annual competition, which involves a relatively large number of participants.

“This is a massive tourism product. Still, Jamaicans have not warmed up to it. They perceive it as a rich people sport, but it is definitely not. Globally, it is one of the largest sports, just as football,” media and public relation manager for the tournament, Floyd Ives said.

Once again, anglers (fishermen) from across the Caribbean, North and South America, and Europe have set sail to catch, tag and release one of the most elusive fish, the Atlantic blue marlin. The blue marlin is among the biggest and fastest fish in the sea.

COVETED PRIZE

All contestants are vying for the coveted prize, a qualification to partake in a larger competition in Costa Rica. This is the yearly Bonaire International and Local Fishing Tournament.

Although it’s a highly competitive sport, Ives told Outlook that the organisation and fishers are determined to keep the marlin species alive.

“Any marlin that is caught and is less than 99 inches or 300 lbs will be released. But that’s after we tag them. We tag them to track them. These fish travel extensively and we want to see how far they will go. So, you’ll tag a fish here and you’ll see it all the way in South Africa. So, at the end of the day, we just don’t want to kill out the species,” Ives explained.

Other section prizes are also up for grabs.

The official day of fishing is tomorrow. At the shooting of a canon, the friendly sea rivalry will commence. The affair will end on Friday with a grandiose award ceremony.

But there’s time for some regular entertainment and pleasure. Returning after a short hiatus, the fun-filled day of rest promises to be an unforgettable experience, especially for those who want to revel in high spirits.

“I want to remind others that they can’t experience the excitement from the marina,” said Ives.

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com