2021 Tag and Release Award Recipients / Expansion to Costa Rica
2021 Tag and Release Award Recipients / Expansion to Costa Rica

Made possible by a grant from the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

Click here for webpage version and click here for PDF version

Congratulations 2021 Tag and Release
Award Recipients! 
2021 Year-End Tag and Release Awards Video
We would like to thank Star RodsCosta Del MarAFTCO, and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation for providing strong incentives for fishermen to tag and release small, healthy dolphinfish for the Dolphinfish Research Program (DRP) in 2021.  These premier fishing tackle companies and sponsors of the DRP have shown their commitment to the conservation of this important fishery by donating top-quality equipment and art for incentive awards to encourage fishermen to assist the DRP.  This year, we are distributing $2,900 worth of gear and art to 32 captains and their crews who collectively tagged and released 1563 dolphin in 2021!  When the value of our year-end awards is combined with additional tagging and recapture awards distributed in 2021, our program, through the support of our sponsors, distributed $5,450 worth of fishing gear and products!  A complete list of all 2021 award winners is below.  Congratulations 2021 top taggers!  
Top Private Boat: Don Gates Killin' Time II  - 428 Tagged

2nd Private Boat: Tim Heiser Irish Wake  - 72 Tagged

Top Charter Boat: Jimbo & Rick Thomas Thomas Flyer - 167 Tagged
Top Boat in the SAB: David Wamer WamJam -146 Tagged

2nd Boat in the SAB:  Dane Dellenbach Knotty Seacrets - 46 Tagged

Top Boat in the Tropics: Gary Marshall Wine Down - 90 Tagged

2nd Boat in the Tropics:  Jeffrey Liederman Sandman - 82 Tagged
Top Captain with the Scouts - Chase Benedict - 101 Tagged

2nd Top Captain with the Scouts - Bryan Gilmore - 82 Tagged

Notable Mentions for Tagging >=10 Dolphin:

Jay Blakeley and Jay Thompson Margaritaville (45); Jim Ivey Drs Orders (40); David Neblett Hit That and T2 (32); Mike Prendergast Reel Therapy (23); Matt Joyce Osprey (15);  Mario Emilio Catch and Release (14); Robi Birriel Nuri (14); Robert Malloy Reel Thunder (14); Jon Reynolds Dropback Fishing Charters (14); Don Williams Knot Covered (13); Miss Darien (13); Willie Howard Captain Willies Charters (12); Eric Marest Florever (12); Charles Brooks Perfect Circle (12); Julien Brossel Madatet (12); Miss Tropic Star (12); Phillippe Louchez Sailfish (12); Ed Kattel Coolcat (11); Steve Karwatt Watt Fun (11); Frank Betz Leviathan (10); Rick Persson Swamphopper (10); Jimmy Crochet Rising Sons (10)
In an effort to increase data collection on dolphinfish in 2022, we are excited to announce that each month this year we will be offering a monthly tagging award to the top tagging vessel that tags and releases the most amount of dolphin in that particular calendar month.  In addition, our regional Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) awards program, which we started in 2020 to increase data collection in the MAB, will continue in 2022 thanks to support from AFTCO.  For more details about our awards program click here.  
Expansion to Costa Rica
Expansion to Costa Rica
A special thanks goes out to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and MARTEC in Costa Rica for providing the funds for our tagging program to expand our tagging operations to Quepos, Costa Rica, this past month.  We distributed over 400 tags to local charter and recreational anglers based out of Marina Pez Vela and we are happy to report that the tags are starting to be put to good use.  Check out our video report (click here) which documents our recent trip down to Quepos, CR, to initiate this work.   
Bird of Prey Fishing Tackle & DRP
Circle Hook Initiative 
The Dolphinfish Research Program (DRP) promotes the use of non-offset circle hooks while trolling, sight-casting, or bailing dolphin.  The use of non-offset circle hooks has been suggested by our research to increase the survivability of a fish if released or if it shakes off the line while being reeled in.  We use these in the field when our intent is to deploy conventional and satellite tags on dolphinfish because these jigs consistently hook fish in the lip or lower jaw, the preferred hooking location to ensure a fish is released in good health.  Since 2018, we have partnered with Bird of Prey Fishing Tackle, the manufacturer of these jigs, to provide free and purchasable jig packs.  Click here to purchase a pack today to use these non-offset circle hook jigs while you fish for dolphin.      
Help Fund 2022's Tagging Effort
A special thanks to everyone who has contributed to our tagging program since the beginning of our 2021/2022 fundraising campaign.    With your support, we were able to start 2022 strong and, to date, we have already shipped out 112
tagging kits.  Our goal is to distribute 450 kits and 6,000 tags in 2022.  While we have an operational budget to begin the year, we still need support to help us fund our online tagging map (click here), acquire additional satellite tags to deploy on adult dolphinfish and wahoo in 2022, as well as increase our tagging kit and education supplies to meet our growing demand for tagging kits.  Our tagging program is at the forefront of educating anglers, advancing discussions and actions surrounding conservation of the species, and gathering additional data to help inform data-driven decision making at the state, federal, and international levels.  Help the DRP expand in 2022. Click the icons below to shop or donate to support our program.
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Platinum Sponsors

Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation
Dennis G Punches Charitable Foundation

Gold Sponsors

SiriusXM Marine
Uncle B's Outdoors
Sport Fish Restoration

Silver Sponsors

Sea Grant Puerto Rico
Pantropic Power

Bronze Sponsors

2020 Donors
2021 Donors

Year-End Award  Sponsors


DRP 2022 Data Metrics

Past Newsletters

The DRP's December Newsletter
DRP's November's Newsletter
DRP's October eNewsletter
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