Dr. Russell Nelson, TBF’s Science Dir., said there are three parts to the research study.
“First we’ll map and estimate what’s currently brought into
Panama by sportfishing tourism similar to work we’ve recently done in Mexico and . Panamanian economist Dr. Ruben Lockland will develop an input-output model allowing us to show how that money, and future monies coming into Costa Rica , actually impact the total economy. Panama
“For the first time we’ll be adding a second component to look at what opportunities exist within
now for new sportfishing destinations and new sportfishing opportunities. We’re talking about everything across the board -- freshwater, saltwater, the Pacific, the Panama Caribbean -- to identify potential opportunities and what impediments in terms of infrastructure may lie in the way of developing those. We then can make recommendations to ’s officials about how they can improve to expand beyond what is currently going on in the sportfishing realm. Panama
“And the third component will be an overview of how
is undertaking fisheries and resource management now, and how they might develop a modern science-based system to monitor the status, the changes of fisheries resources and move that into the 21st century.” Panama
TBF board member Chris Fischer’s organization OCEARCH is helping coordinate the project in
. Also working with Nelson and Lockland is Dr. Rob Southwick of Southwick Associates a fishing economics and statistics firm who anticipates the study to take 18 months. Panama
“Reflecting on the different fishing seasons and to meet and talk with anglers the survey portion will last about one year,” said Southwick who has a large database of anglers in
North America available to be polled. “We’ll be asking them a wide range of marketing questions. And in the past we’ve found a lot of the angling community responds to good conservation.” U.S.
Nelson added, “There’s a very active recreational angling community in
. We’ll rely on those anglers to show us where the best fishing is located as well as potential areas for development that many in the outside community are unaware of for possible commercial businesses. The goal is to stimulate sustainable fishing and the economic development there.” Panama
TBF has been working with the governments of
Mexico, Costa Rica and – some for over a decade – to protect billfish, mainly from overfishing of its coastal fisheries by foreign commercial interests, while implementing billfishing tag and release programs for sportsmen. Peru
Established 25 years ago, The Billfish Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated solely to conserving and enhancing billfish populations around the world. TBF's comprehensive network of members and supporters includes anglers, captains, mates, clubs tournament directors and sportfishing businesses. By coordinating efforts and speaking with one voice, TBF is able to work for solutions good for billfish and not punitive to recreational anglers. Visit www.billfish.org or to reach TBF president Ms. Ellen Peel, phone 800-438-8247 ex.108.