Marlin tourney could generate $150m for Port Antonio - Levy
'Aspiring angler' and member of the Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament's planning committee, Robin Levy, told The Gleaner that the week-long event is capable of generating millions dollars for the town of Port Antonio.
While the week-long activities will be centred around the many teams of anglers and friends out on the open sea, Levy suggests that the event's return is much bigger than it seems, at the recent media launch.
Considering the expense of gas, hotel stays for those not out on the water and all the other amenities that come with an exodus, Levy estimates that "the tournament can bring 150 million to Port Antonio, conservatively," he said.
The sport-fishing tournament takes place from Saturday, October 1 through to October 8 and comes with promises from its main organiser, Maxim Rochester, that it would be "yet another great week of fun-filled angling, liming, partying and most importantly, leaving the stress behind".
An overview of this year's tournament was delivered by Rochester, who has served as the tournament director for the past three years.
He went on to highlight the deliberate emphasis to utilise local talent, more specifically Portland talent. Entertainment during the activities will be provided by Italian DJ Enrico, who founded the Jamaica Vinyl Club.
Also providing entertainment will be the Holey Bulla Band, with Donnie Chung (whose bakery neighbours the Port Antonio Marina).
"We will, of course, continue to finesse our Miss Marlin Talent Contest," said Rochester, "which is very important for our community relationship and gives the young ladies of Portland an opportunity to showcase their undeniable talents".
Dr. Denis 'Ron' DuQuesnay, chairman of the Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association - which spearheads the tournament - and representative of the International Game Fish Association, feels gratified at the turnout of both anglers and non-anglers.
"We like to train people and get people interested," he said, acknowledging 11-year-old Amir DaCosta, who came to microphone and said with no hesitation that he loves fishing.
"We wouldn't be here without our sponsors," Levy said as he proceeded to list the event's support.
Endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board, the tournament is scheduled to take place from October 1 to 8 and is sponsored by Jamaica National, Jamaica Broilers, Lillian's Ltd., Pure National Ice, Red Stripe, Stewart's Automotive, National Bakery, KFC, Rituals Coffee House and Truck Stop.
Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, was deputised by Special Advisor Allie McNab, who delivered words of strong endorsement for the tournament.
"Because it has been a recreation for many years, it has not been positioned in the way that other sporting activities have been," he said.
McNab, on behalf of Minister Grange, extended an invitation to the Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association to establish a table of discussion for the development of sport-fishing as more than just recreation.
"We thank you all, for not only being on board, but eager to participate in the many activities," he said.