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Big game tournament fishing in the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean from 1972-2002
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    "NOAA Fisheries has been monitoring billfish tournaments in U.S. Atlantic waters since 1971. The Recreational Billfish Survey (RBS) began as a program for monitoring fishing success and average weights of billfish landed in the Gulf of Mexico recreational fishery, and evolved into an important source of scientific information on northwestern Atlantic populations of blue marlin ( Makaira nigricans ), white marlin ( Tetrapturus albidus ), and sailfish ( Istiophorus platypterus ). Today, the RBS is a primary source of recreational billfish catch and fishing effort data that are used by fishery scientists, both domestically and internationally, for analysis and application to conservation and management measures. Biological sampling conducted at tournaments has also enabled RBS scientists to gather data for age and growth studies, gender and maturity determination, population structuring, and other research that facilitates effective management decisions. This paper updates previous catch and effort data collected by the RBS from 1998 through 2002 from tournaments taking place along the U.S. Atlantic coast, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. Historical RBS data is also presented for the entire RBS coverage area, including the Gulf of Mexico"--Introduction.
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