he Billfish Foundation (TBF) respects the wisdom of Dr. George L. Hanbury, II, President of NOVA Southeastern University for the decision to no longer continue the federally permitted pelagic longline research now underway inside Florida’s east coast closed zone.
TBF recently brought to the attention of Dr. Hanbury threats the longline closed zone research could have on the university’s fine reputation in the area of science and community relations (see TBF’s letter to Dr. Hanbury at www.billfish.org). The university has received high acclaim from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a High Research and Community Engagement University, recognition given to only 37 universities.
Yesterday TBF’s president Ellen Peel received a message from Dr. Richard Dodge, a highly respected scientist at NOVA, stating that the university will not continue the longline research in Florida’s east coast closed zone. Peel says “her respect for the university and its president is reinforced with this decision; Dr. Hanbury continues to adhere to high standards in science and community relations.”
TBF members and Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission deserve accolades for their tenacity in opposing the research because of its potential harm to marine resources off Florida’s coast and jobs dependent upon those resources in the marine and tourism industries. “We know anglers, boat owners, captains and marine industry business owners and employees appreciate Dr. Hanbury’s decision” said Peter Chaibongsai of TBF.
The Billfish Foundation (TBF), a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) organization, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is dedicated to the conservation of billfish (marlin, sailfish, spearfish) and their associated highly migratory fish species, by advancing research, education, and advocacy for responsible fishery management. TBF employs marine conservation strategies that benefit oceanic resources while also empowering the recreational fishing community.