White Marlin Open 2017
Ocean City, Maryland
In 2001, a Petition was presented by the Biodiversity Legal Foundation to the National Marine Fisheries Service NMFS, to place the white marlin on the ESA endangered species list. The Petition documented that decades of commercial over-fishing had reduced the white marlin stocks to near-unsustainable levels. The Petition was specific in its conclusion that ICCAT sanctioned commercial longliners were the cause of over 90% of the annual white marlin mortalities and publicly exposed ICCAT's indifference and mismanagement of Atlantic billfish as the biggest obstacle to reversing declining stocks. In essence, the attempt by James R. Chambers and the Biodiversity Legal Foundation wasn't to sell the obvious problem, but to highlight its cause and to warn that if left to ICCAT's management, extinction would follow.