Thursday, October 27, 2011

A passion for a tarpon


The Benjamin Franklin Awards have long been recognized as one of the most prestigious independent publishing awards in the world.
This year, Andy Mill’s A Passion for Tarpon (Wild River Press) received gold medals in “best recreation/sports title” and “regional title.”
Previously, no book about fish or fishing had achieved this distinction.

The award-winning book is loaded with interesting facts and information for tarpon anglers, marine scientists and conservationists concerned with the future of the remarkably migratory species.
At nearly 500 pages, A Passion for Tarpon takes readers through the evolution of fishing for the “silver king.”
In a series of long-format interviews, longtime anglers and fishing guides share their experiences with and insights on tarpon.
Their fascinating stories accompanied by rare black-and-white legacy photos spectacular color photography of leaping tarpon by Pat Ford.

Dr. Jerry Ault, noted University of Miami (UM) Marine Biology and Fisheries professor and founding member/scientific advisor of the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, authored the book’s central chapter on the elusive biology and precarious future of tarpon
In great detail but easily understood language, he discusses the life history, population dynamics, migrations and spawning of this ecologically and economically valuable wild resource.
Ault also discusses fishing impacts and threats to resource sustainability, and how better knowledge of the science by anglers is critical to sustaining tarpon fisheries.

Sport fishing for tarpon is a $6 billion industry in the United States alone.
Understanding a singular fish driving this magnitude of economic value and employing 100,000 people is crucial to maintaining a healthy resource for all to enjoy.

Tarpon and Silversides, Grand Cayman
Photograph by Mike Sutton Brown

Tarpon are extremely vulnerable to even low levels of fishing due to their lengthy life cycle, similar to any other animal that grows to be substantial in size,” said Ault.
“They travel great distances to feed and mate. Keeping their populations thriving requires understanding and constant vigilance.”

Conservation of tarpon and other sport fisheries are a source of increasing concern to all who care about healthy oceans and critical estuaries throughout the Caribbean.
“This important new book, besides being visually stunning and a fascinating read, is an excellent resource to educate anglers and policymakers on a global scale, we hope helping to guide legislation and sound management supporting their conservation for future generations,” Ault added.

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