Posts Tagged ‘IGFA’

May 23, 2013

Fishing Ain’t Just About Catching

Black Marlin - Panama
A few months ago I was looking up the current black marlin woman’s world record on 50 pound for a customer. I opened the “IGFA World Record Game Fishes” from the shelf on my desk. I opened the book to the marlin record pages, and Mike Levitt’s 737lb 7oz. Black Marlin world record on 12 pound in 1981 caught my eye. I knew exactly when that happened and memories flooded in.

That was the year of IGFA’s President’s, E.K. Harry’s big mistake, when he changed IGFA rules on the length of leaders to 30 feet on all classes. He was responding to a bunch of lazy charter boat captains who found it too hard to keep track of leaders of 15 and 30 feet in length.

Elwood shortened up the double line and leader combined length, but in so doing doubled the allowable leader length on light line. Mike Levitt and Capt. Paul Whelan had set a record that still stands and may not ever be beaten because the rules were changed again, after that one year.

Laurie Wright and the late Doug Haig were my crew. We made a deal with Al Hooper. We used his little trawler yacht, “Cheryl Ann” as a mother boat and fished double or nothing for a world record on 6 or 12 pound line. Al would pay nothing if we failed to get a record and double if we did. Laurie, Doug and I, and the boat owner, went all in for the deal.

With all that much leader we got our chances. We had several 700 pounders on the wire. We broke several leaders and had one jump through, and break the outrigger halyards. At one point Al offered to pay for the whole charter, but not double, if we would let him switch to 30 pound line.

We turned him down and lost the bet! He paid for all our fuel and gave us all a nice tip. None of us will ever forget those two weeks of crazy fishing! The next year the IGFA changed the leader length back for the lightest line classes.

It’s funny that a trip in which we were not successful was one of the best and most fun we ever had! I will never ever forget the details of that trip

Good Fishing,
Peter B

Feb 2, 2012

San Juan IGFA Great Marlin Race: All Tags Report and a Record is Broken






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 1, 2012 Contact: Jason Schratwieser, Conservation Director 954-924-4320

The blue marlin from the IGFA Great Marlin Race traveled 4,776 nautical miles in 120 days

During the inaugural IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) six satellite tags were deployed at the Club Nautico de San Juan’s 58th Annual International Billfish Tournament (IBT) that was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 5-11, 2011. Since that time anglers have waited patiently to see when and where the tags would pop up and start reporting information.

The first tag to pop up and report was from a fish caught by Norman Pichardo on IGFA Trustee Pepe Anton’s boat Amirita. Pichardo’s tag popped up October 23, 2011, 419 nautical miles (nm) from where it was tagged near the island of Aruba. Although the tag popped up early, this fish demonstrated an important lesson in the importance of proper revival techniques. Pichardo’s marlin had become tail-wrapped during the fight and was reeled in tail first. Because marlin must continually swim in a forward direction to properly have water flow over their gills so that they can breathe, the fish came up browned-out and in bad shape. First mate David Hernandez and IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser spent close to 10 minutes reviving the fish by holding on to it as the boat slowly idled forward to get water flowing over its gills. In time the fish’s color came back and it began to beat its tail, after which the fish was quickly tagged and swam off on its own, recording data with its satellite tag as it went.

The next four tags popped up over the course of the next month. Tag number two belonged to a 150 lb blue marlin caught by Charles Donato on the Islamar and popped up on November 20th, 178 nm southeast of where it was caught. December 7th saw two more tags report. Father and son team Antonio and Jaime Fullana landed a blue marlin on September 8th aboard the Bolita. When the tag popped up and reported, the Fullana’s fish had traveled east 589 nm from where it was tagged, putting them solidly in first place. The day after Fullana’s fish was tagged, lady angler Mariana Fuster hooked and landed a blue, which she dubbed “Vic,” on the Lucky Dog that was tagged by Jorge Rivera. Vic traveled 497 nm from where it was tagged which, at the time, placed Mariana in second place for the race. Rounding out 2011 on December 20th, the tag placed by Gerald Torres in the 80 lb marlin caught by Moises Torrent aboard the Batichica popped up 206 nm from its point of deployment – a fourth place finish at the time.

After Torrent’s tag reported, things were quiet and 2011 came to a close. At this point the only tag that had yet to report belonged to a sizeable 575 lb blue that was caught by Mike Benitez on the Sea Born and tagged by Eneau Agusta on September 7, 2011. Then it happened. On January 5, 2012 – exactly 120 days after it was deployed—Benitez’s fish’s tag popped off and began transmitting information. Dr. Randy Kochevar at Stanford University codirects the IGMR with IGFA and was stunned when he began reviewing the data. Benitez’s fish had traveled southeast some 4,776 nm from where it was tagged and crossed the equator to have its tag pop off near the coast of Angola, Africa.

“These are the kind of results we dreamed about when we first launched the Great Marlin Race program back in 2009,” said Kochevar. “This may be one of the longest, if not the longest, marlin tracks ever recorded on an electronic tag. To have a marlin swim from the Caribbean all the way across the Atlantic and across the Equator to Africa reminds us how remarkable these animals are and how much we still have to learn from them.”

Travelling more than eight times farther than any other fish, Benitez’s fish became the clear winner of the San Juan IBT race. Unfortunately, Mike Benitez never got to hear the news. A beloved captain in Puerto Rico and the first tournament recipient of the IGFA-Chester H. Wolfe Outstanding Sportsmanship Award, Mike passed away in Boston just two days before his tag reported; he was 79 years old.

Anglers worldwide can view all the results of the IGMR on the interactive map at  The next tournament in the IGMR will begin in February of 2012 in South Africa at the South African Deep Sea Angling Association Classic. For more details and sponsorship information, contact Jason Schratwieser at or 954-924-4320.

For further information, contact the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, Florida 33004; phone 954-927-2628, fax: 954-924-4299, website:


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Aug 31, 2011

Guy Harvey Art to Support Marlin Conservation

Guy Harvey art supports efforts to the IGFA and NCMC in their "Take Marlin Off the Menu" effort

Marlin populations throughout the world are being wiped out by commercial overfishing.  Concerned about the health of billfish fisheries, the IGFA and the National Coalition for Marine Conservation joined forces in 2008 to create the “Take Marlin off the Menu” campaign. In just two short years, the campaign gained the support of such luminaries as Wolfgang Puck and the Wegmans Supermarket chain – as well as the attention of U.S. policymakers. Their support hinged largely on an Economic Analysis of International Billfish Markets which shows that the economic value of the U.S. billfish trade is almost nil in relation to the rest of the U.S. commercial fishing industry.

This new marlin artwork from Guy Harvey was created to support this important effort.  It is currently illegal to harvest or import Atlantic-caught billfish into the U.S., but fish caught in the Pacific Ocean flood into U.S. markets in substantial numbers, threatening the survival of these fisheries. The Billfish Conservation Act of 2011 (S. 1451 and H.R. 2706), introduced into Congress on July 29, would close U.S. commercial markets to Pacific billfish, preventing their sale and importation (excluding Hawaii and Pacific Insular Island Area). In short, this important bipartisan legislation will help restore billfish populations and improve recreational fishing opportunities while concurrently creating jobs and other economic benefits.

Your support of the Billfish Conservation Act would close the U.S. to commercial billfish harvest, importation and sale. It would have a negligible impact on the commercial industry in the U.S. while helping increase the abundance of these important apex predators as well as the value of the recreational fishery, which brings in billions of dollars annually but has a minimal impact on billfish populations.

To learn how you can help support this important Take Marlin off the Menu effort please contact the IGFA at or NCMC

— Bill

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Jun 9, 2011

Fishing History is Fun

In 1986 we were fishing one of the last Giant Tuna tournaments to be held in the Bahamas. Fishing was ok that week but we wound up winning with one fish. Ralph Mongeau caught a 615 pound tuna aboard “Raptor” on a classic day with a stiff southeast breeze. The tuna were pouring but not biting, well and ours was the biggest fish caught that week.

One evening, we watched movies from the International Game Fishing Association’s (IGFA) film library. Hundreds of anglers had donated their old fishing films and many of them had been copied onto video tape. The first film was shot in the early 1950’s and had wonderful action shots including footage taken from a small airplane that  showed huge schools of tuna crossing the shallow flats south of Cat Cay. We could see fish peel off from the school and strike the bait trolled behind boats that were the state of the art “fishing cruisers” of that time, according to the announcer.

The film that really got us excited showed one of the greatest fishing guides of all time, Tommy Gifford. I met Gifford several times when I was a teenager and was most impressed with what a crusty old so and so he was, yet, he never paid me too much attention – I wish I had seen the movie before I met him. One way or another, I would have pestered him into letting me hang around, ride along, or something.

Marlin were already being caught in the Pacific by pioneering Australians, New Zealanders and Hawaiians. The Avalon Tuna Club was already a going concern with many striped marlin catches and Zane Grey was making expeditions to the South Pacific islands that have not been matched even with today’s motherships.

Ernest Hemingway advised Gifford of commercial marlin fishing techniques used in Cuba (later immortalized in his novel “The Old Man and the Sea”). Mike Lerner (proprietor and a founder of the Lerner Stores as well as the  major financial contributor for the fledgling IGFA)  chartered Gifford in 1934  to try for a blue marlin off Bimini. Gifford and Lerner decided to give these big cousins of sailfish a try. The movie footage is superb by any standards, doubly so considering when it was taken. Greyhounding marlin with a recognizable but unspoilt Bimini in the background, drew applause from the watching anglers and crew.

When Gifford put on a life jacket as he prepared to wire a good sized blue marlin, Lerner had, alongside the boat, cries of surprise and comments of sarcasm coming from the salty viewers. Then, Gifford billed the marlin like a sailfish. Cheers of surprise and approval echoed through the warm Bahamian night as Gifford billed a series of marlin ranging up to almost 500 pounds!

There were no gaffs -just a short nuggety young man who never let go once he had hold of a bill!  “What a stud! I don’t believe it and I’m seeing it!” were two of the many shouted comments as Gifford was shaken like a rag doll. Never once did he relinquish a grip. It is still one of the most awesome fishing movies I have ever seen.   

The IGFA museum in Dania, FL is the ultimate destination for angling enthusiasts and those interested in the complete historical record of the sport. It is open to the public 7 days a week

I had been impressed by the IGFA Hall of Fame and Museum when I attended its opening but hadn’t had a chance to check out the library with its video viewing and reading rooms. “Mike, I used to come and hang out once in a while and look at the old books when the office was in Pompano. Is the library open to the public?” I asked the then IGFA president Mike Leech at a chance meeting. “You mean you haven’t been in yet?” was his astonished reply. Two days later, I drove down and was floored by what I found. Leech introduced me to head librarian Gail Morchower, who showed me through a state of the art facility that has since seen a fair bit of me. (A few years ago I was inducted into the Hall Of Fame and some of my log books are now included.)

First, we entered a rare book room containing first editions (all of Zane Grey for starters) and original albums and logs donated by pioneering anglers. The humidity and temperature controlled room is a fishing history researcher’s nirvana. The books can be viewed and read but not removed from the library.

There are two video viewing rooms with comfortable seating to view the more than 1500 videos, including copies of the early movies mentioned above (and hundreds more!) You would have trouble reading just the current magazines as fast as they come in and there is a huge library of older periodicals as well as over 12,000 books. You can find books, videos and magazines from a computer list of titles, authors, and subjects. (It took Morchower about 30 seconds to tell me the year of the video I had seen in Bimini 15 years earlier.)

The IGFA Hall of Fame and Museum is open 10 to 6 daily and admission is free for IGFA members. The airy and spacious reading rooms offer superb views of four wetland ecological zones. Library, museum and ecological classroom, the only thing you won’t have enough of is time.

For a complete list of our other featured blog posts and to see the full line of Guy Harvey Sportswear, please visit:

Nov 4, 2010

Combining Business with Sportfishing Community & Marine Resource Support — Part I

The American Fishing Tackle Company (AFTCO) is a unique business in that we spend an unusual amount of time and money on the sportfishing community and marine resource issues.  This non business involvement is part of the Shedd family legacy and AFTCO culture.  It started with my father Milt Shedd, who prior to co-founding Sea World in 1964, founded what is now known as the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute (HSWRI).  The mission of HSWRI remains to this day as it was in 1963, “To return to the sea some measure of the benefits derived from it.” Dad thought that even before they opened, Sea World should be looking for ways to give back to the marine community by forming a research institute that would allow universities, marine researchers, and other collaborators to do research work with the ocean life at Sea World.  He felt that little was known about the ocean and the creatures that live there, so in order to insure a healthy future existence of the ocean and its inhabitants, Man needed a greater understanding of that universe.

Dad and Shamu — Milt Shedd established the Shedd family legacy of using business success to support marine resource efforts

Dad applied that same logic to AFTCO when he and Mom purchased the business in 1973.  He encouraged all of us here to be involved with activities that would help add value to the ocean world.  That encouragement remains an inspiration 8 years after his passing in 2002.  As president of AFTCO, I spend over 500 hours a year providing support/leadership to various fishing communities and resource efforts.  Last week’s activities’ in Florida offered a good example of how we, here at AFTCO, continue to balance business and resource efforts.  I thought you might like to hear about what went on.

On Monday I flew from our home office in Irvine California to Florida to attend the American Sportfising Association (ASA) Summit, the sportfishing industries annual meeting.  My main involvement was as Chairman of the ASA Government Affairs Committee.  Our committee met on Tuesday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM and discussed a range of issues including Marine Protected Areas, the National Ocean Policy, Magnuson-Stevens Act Challenges, the Fishery Conservation Transition Act, South Atlantic/Gulf Councils Update, Gulf Oil Spill, Cape Hatteras National Seashore/ORV Management Plan, Lead Issues including several efforts to ban the use of lead, Lake Champlain Issues, Water4Fish/CA Delta Water Challenges,  Reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, and the KeepAmericaFishing Angler Advocacy Initiative.   During most of that day, we were joined by Eric Schwaab, the current assistant administrator for fisheries at NOAA.

Tuesday night I attended the International Gamefish Association (IGFA) Hall of Fame Induction ceremony where Yoshiro Hattori (Japan), Steve Huff, George Matthews, John Wilson (England) and Forrest Wood were inducted.  As Chairman of the IGFA Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, I am interested in the entire process from working with fellow committee members to insure the best candidates are selected, all the way up to the induction ceremony.  As the co-chair of the IGFA Fisheries and Conservation committee, I also discussed with IGFA president Rob Kramer and Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser, the new IGFA release only record by length world record category we are about to announce to the fishing world.  (Activities from last Wednesday to Saturday will be covered in our next blog.)


For a complete list of our other featured blog posts and to see the full line of Guy Harvey Sportswear, please visit:

Apr 22, 2010

Why Angler Access Is Critical

Restricting angler access can prevent the grandfather (Milt Shedd) from sharing with the grandson (Casey Shedd) his first bluefin catch

Restricting angler access can prevent the grandfather (Milt Shedd) from sharing with the grandson (Casey Shedd) his first bluefin catch

On April 16-17, 2010 the Administrator of NOAA Dr. Jane Lubchenco and Eric Schwaab head of NMFS hosted the Saltwater Recreational Fishing Summit in Alexandria, Virginia.  Over 100 leaders from the recreational fishing community attended to convey the needs of our community to our government officials.   Success or failure of this effort can only be determined over time by future actions of NOAA and NMFS.  As the Chairman of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Government Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the International Gamefish Association (IGFA) Fisheries and Conservation Committee, I was asked to speak on the importance of Angler Access.  The following are those remarks:

“Public access to the public marine resource is critical for both practical and emotional reasons.  On the practical side is the loss of opportunity caused by restricting access, which is greater than meets the eye.  Closed areas typically target the best habitat locations.  That is where the fish are, so that is where fishermen need to be to catch them.  Leaving for example even 95% of a given area open and preventing access in the other 5% that contains the good habitat can easily reduce fishing success by 50%, 60%, 70% or more.  If you don’t understand fish and fishing 5% is no big deal.  If you are an angler you understand that it can mean the difference between success and failure.

When we lose access, the resource suffers because it loses its most important supporters.  Anglers contributed over $604 million in 2009 for fishing license fees and an additional over $700 million in excise taxes on fishing tackle and motor boat fuels.  These monies provide the backbone of funding for fishery resource management efforts in the states.  Over the last half century anglers have contributed over $30 billion to resource management.  What group will replace those dollars if the unintended consequence of restricting access causes anglers to stop fishing and buying licenses and fishing tackle?  If anglers are forced off the water, who will replace that data source for catch, biological and economic information?

Another reason angler access is critical is that it helps support an important economic contribution.  The 13 million saltwater anglers in the US generate 533,000 jobs and contribute $82.2 Billion to the nation’s economy.  Most important for the resource, this economic benefit is generated by taking only 3% of the US harvest while the commercial sector takes the other 97% and at the same time provides fewer jobs.  A major frustration in our community is that there seems to be a growing trend of not recognizing these important angler contributions to the economy and the resource.  Recent evidence of this trend can be seen by what is now transpiring in California with excessive no fishing zones, it can be seen by President Obama’s draft report of the national ocean policy, and can be seen by draconian fishery management measures under Magnuson-Stevens. We are not the enemy of the resource.  We are its most important supporters and that should be recognized.  NOAA needs to follow the lead of the Department of Interior by recognizing the benefits & value of the recreational fishing community and give us access priority with ocean policy.

Earlier I mentioned that to understand the angler access issue you also need to understand the emotional and personal factor. While it is true that we must catch fish to have a valuable fishing experience, fishing is about the family.  It is a relationship activity passed down typically from father or grandfather to son or daughter.  Everybody in this room who fishes can think not only of the moment, but the exact spot where you had a memorable fishing experience with a family member or friend.  Right now where you sit take a second to think about it.  I see some smiles.  That means many of you can already see that spot in your mind.  To the rest of the world that location may not be so different from another, but to you it is part of your experiences and part of your quality of life.

I understand first hand this emotional issue with access restrictions.  I live in Laguna Beach California where the environmentalists are on pace to eliminate all fishing (even catch and release) for 5 of the 7 miles of my cities’ coast line from the shore out to about 3 miles.  This stretch is the best habitat in all of Orange County.  I fish and dive 30-40 days a year from my kayak right in the middle of the area that is about to be closed.   When the environmentalists tell me it is no big deal you can just go fish someplace else, I think of the spot where my son caught his first legal halibut.  I think of hundreds of other memories and all I can do other then scream in frustration is to simply shake my head and walk away knowing I can’t make them understand because their experience with the ocean is so different than mine.  Theirs comes mainly from reading books or looking at maps, photos or TV.  Mine comes from real on the water experiences which translates into memories I cherish.

The vast majority of anglers are not against all closures.  What we are against is restricting our access without a significant proven fishery benefit to overcome our personal loss and the loss to the resource and the economy.  We are against closures put in place without proper data to support them and without considering the socioeconomic consequences.  The ocean is a public resource and the fishing public deserves to receive the highest priority for its future use.


Feb 4, 2010

Guy Harvey and Wyland Collaborate in Cayman

Guy helping local island kids with their paints

Guy helping local island kids with their paints

On February 2nd, Guy Harvey and Wyland met up in Guy’s home country the Cayman Islands to collaborate on a mural in front of the Guy Harvey Gallery & Shoppe.  Proceeds from the sale of the mural will be donated to the Cayman Island Turtle Farm’s release program that is helping to replenish the Green Sea Turtle stock.  During the event Wyland and Guy also worked together to help teach local island kids some of the finer points of marine art.

Wyland painting with the kids

Wyland painting with the kids

Guy Harvey and Wyland are the world’s most famous marine artists, but their similarities don’t stop there.  They share a passion for the ocean and for educating the world about important ocean issues through their art, their foundations (Wyland Foundation and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation) and through their many business and personal activities.

Guy and Wyland working on the mural, with Wyland sporting his Guy Harvey t-shirt

Guy and Wyland working on the mural, with Wyland sporting his Guy Harvey t-shirt

Both are world class divers and Wyland was inducted into the SCUBA Diving Hall of Fame last week.  Guy is also a world-renowned angler and was inducted into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame last fall.

I am blessed to call each of them my friend.  They both possess many wonderful talents and traits, but the fact that they admire each other’s work, are friends and speak highly of each other is unique.

In this competitive “me first” world of “I am better than you”, it is a beautiful thing to see the world’s two most talented marine artists working together so closely for the benefit of the world’s oceans and the creatures who call it home.

Dec 23, 2009

Introducing Guest Blogger Peter B. Wright

Peter B. Wright

Peter B. Wright

We are happy to include Peter B. Wright as a contributing editor to the Guy Harvey Sportswear blog. Peter is one of the world’s best known and respected big game fishing captains and will be writing here on various aspects of catching the largest fish in the ocean.

Peter is an inductee to the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame, has caught more marlin over 1,000 pounds than any captain or angler in history, has won dozens of tournaments, and guided his clients to numerous records. He holds the Bahamas Bluefin Tuna record of 972 pounds and guided angler Stewart Campbell to an amazing single day’s record of 73 Giant Bluefin Tuna tagged and released off Cape Hatteras, N.C.

Peter B at Work (Play)

Peter B at Work (Play)

Captain Wright has fished every season in Cairns, Australia since 1968 and has also fished the waters of New Zealand, New Guinea, Indonesia, Thailand, Mauritius, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, The Ivory Coast, Bom Bom Island, Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, Madeira, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, US Gulf and East Coast, Canada’s Maritime Provinces, East and West Coasts of Mexico, Guatamala, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, French Polynesia, Fiji, Hawaii and the Galapagos.

Peter is a highly sought after writer and speaker. He has recently been hired as Editor at Large by World Publications to write a big game fishing column for “Marlin” Magazine as well as hosting television shows and conducting seminars and “Marlin University” programs.

Nov 16, 2009

Guy Harvey IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame Induction

In October of 2009 I was inducted into the IGFA Hall of Fame.  It was a great honor joining the ranks of some of my greatest heroes in the fishing arena.  The following is a transcript of my acceptance speech.
Guy's induction ceremony acceptance speech into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame on October 27, 2009

Guy's induction ceremony acceptance speech into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame on October 27, 2009

“Thank you very much Mark. Mark set a standard in his TV shows for many other hosts to follow, including me, and I am particularly appreciative of your advice and assistance. I am looking forward to the day when you teach me how to catch a sailfish on a cigar!

Congratulations to the other deserving people being honored tonight. The international nature of the IGFA is reflected in the range of nationalities awarded here, a Costa Rican, an Auzzie, two Americans and a Jamaican. Jack, it’s good to see you here, mate!

Ever since I can remember I have been FISHING. All that time ago, just the mention of the names like Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Glassell, John Morris, Joan Wulff, Stu Apte, Mark Sosin conjured images of pioneers in their respective fields, who I wanted to meet. Well…. I eventually did. One of the people then, who had the most dramatic impact on me was Pierre Clostermann. As a boy I had two favorite books to read, one was The Old Man and the Sea, and the other was the best unbiased narrative of the air war in the Battle of Britain from WWII, a book called “The Big Show”, by Pierre Clostermann. I would read these books every week. Then, as I grew older, I discovered that not only did Pierre Clostermann fish a great deal, but he was also an IGFA trustee. I finally met him at the first IGFA auction 25 years ago in Palm Beach, and we became great friends after that. Hemingway had been out of reach for a while, and so Pierre was my first living mentor.

There have been others along the way, people who I have met through the IGFA board or through my business and that I have admired and respected and who have made their own mark in this sport that embraces…. so many disciplines. There have been many innovators in our hundred year old sport, from boat designers, tackle inventors, authors, scientists, resource managers and administrators, all pioneers in their time, whose dedication and INDUSTRY have allowed us to arrive at this point.

I feel fortunate that I have had the SAME opportunity to be as creative as they were and transform a hobby into becoming an integral part of our sport fishing CULTURE and HERITAGE.

I am certainly not the first, there being several other successful marine sport fishing artists to have made their mark; Lynne Bogue Hunt, (already in the HoF), Stanley Meltzoff, Russ Smiley, Kent Ullberg, Al Barnes, and Don Ray to name the best. The CHALLENGE has been in creating the process whereby this art is made available to a wide cross section of society. I had a lot of help from a series of wonderful people in the last two decades, many of whom are here tonight, but I must thank the late Scott Boyd, Barbara Currie, Charlie Forman and Raleigh Werking who got the process going, and more recently Bill Shedd and his AFTCO team who have taken the business to new heights. In those early years I received considerable support and encouragement from the IGFA through the efforts of the late chairman Elwood Harry, and the immediate past President of IGFA, Mike Leech.

Of all the other artists in this genre, Kent Ullberg has been my reference and guiding force, a man whose illustrious fine art career is littered with awards. Kent has helped our tiny niche to make a very large impact in the world of WILD LIFE ART which has even raised a few eyebrows in the realm of FINE ART.

This profession has been and continues to be most gratifying. The process of creating new work, inspired by a myriad of encounters above and below the surface, is exciting enough. I have visited many exotic angling locations, but ONLY A FEW have tolerated my presence more than once…. particularly Tropic Star Lodge which is the greatest big game angling destination in the western hemisphere. Such is the inspiration derived from this unique place that I recently completed a 334 page book about the angling history and magnificent fishery this remote location has to offer. In these pages I was able to engage all my disciplines; art, photography, TV documentaries, science, conservation and story-telling….boy are there some stories! After all….It’s a book about… FISHING.

I have just released another book, called Fishes of the Open Ocean, authored by well known Australian fish biologist Dr. Julian Pepperell and with 170 images illustrated by me. It is the first reference book of its kind, which describes all the fish that inhabit the epi- pelagic zone of the open ocean at some point in their life history. Here Julian needed my services as a fish illustrator, and I was very glad to assist him with this book.

In the thirty years that I have been in the business of painting marine wildlife there have been many failures, but fortunately more successes. And with that success there comes… RESPONSIBILITY. During this same time we have witnessed the rapid decline of species that are the ICONS of our sport. Human population growth and the increasing demand for protein have brought many species to the brink of extinction. Nowadays, many of us sitting in this room, spend more time trying to save these creatures rather than actually fishing for them. For wild life artists generally, the task at hand is to reflect this concern in our work, and as more environmental issues come to the fore, so my art and that of other artists and their subject matter becomes more relevant in people’s personal experience and in what they see happening around them.

This concern has been the driving force in the formation of the GHRI ten years ago, and more recently the GHOF, my new organization mandated to raise funds necessary to carry out research work and to conduct education and outreach. The demise of all these species is CONSUMER driven, so now the emphasis is to educate consumers about ISSUES that face marine resources. To most people, any creature living beneath the surface is out of sight, therefore OUT OF MIND. In a restaurant or supermarket situation, the consumer gives little consideration to what species this is or from whence it came.

Research… followed by education… leads to conservation. My goal has been and continues to be… raise the funds for research, and use the art and TV to educate the consumer… for whom conservation will become second nature.

I have many people I want to thank, but firstly I want to thank the IGFA for giving me this recognition, which is in acknowledgement of a TEAM EFFORT. I am very fortunate in that I have a great TEAM at Guy Harvey Inc, (Steve, Harvey, Missy, Pat, Jay, Todd and Greg) and in Grand Cayman, James, Mariasol and Bruno all of whom have contributed a huge amount of effort and loyalty toward achieving our goal. In addition I want to thank our MAJOR partners; Bill Shedd and the AFTCO team, and Peter MacFarland with his team at the GHIG.

There are some other unique personalities I have met along this route, one of whom is Bill Boyce. Bill has been a great friend for many years and whose angling ability, photographic magic, friendship and zest for life have all resulted in some unique experiences in many far flung locations. Another such person is Tim Choate who has pioneered many of the great fishing destinations I have been fortunate enough to visit, such as in Guatemala, and the Galapagos. Tim’s latest project has been the coordination of the governments of Central America, through CABA, to recognize billfish as a recreational fishing resource. Keep up the good work my friend.

I want to acknowledge the continued assistance of my TV director and producer, Ken Kavanaugh at Bonnier Corporation, plus two tremendous camera guys, Rick Westphal, and Dee Gele, who foolishly followed me around several continents for five years getting into harm’s way. Diana Udel has also played a very important role in producing my first TV series, and in the landmark documentary we produced for PBS, “BILLFISH, NOMADS OF THE OCEANS.”

David Ritchie has made a big impact as editorial director at Bonnier Corporation and has edited two of my four books, the most recent one being “Panama Paradise; a tribute to Tropic Star Lodge”.

I want to thank all the great captains and mates who have shared their vast knowledge and experiences with me, and put me on some great fish both topside and… in underwater encounters. Among them are Bobby Dehart, the late Dan Timmons, Clay Hensley, the late Jim Davis, Laurie Wright, Trevor Cockle, Skip Smith, O.B. O’Bryan, Jimmy Grant, Travis Peterson, Barkey Garnsey, Peter Wright and Anthony Mendillo, plus some of the amazing captains in Guatemala and Costa Rica, but particularly those captains and mates at Tropic Star Lodge in Panama.

I want to acknowledge the significant role played by Dr. Mahmood Shivji at the GHRI and Dean Dick Dodge at NSU Oceanographic Centre. Many of you will have read about Mahmood’s research efforts mostly on sharks, sponsored by funds generated from my licensing programs.

Family; They are HERE! I have my Mum, two brothers Jonno and Piers, his wife Connie and daughter Mikayla. My beautiful wife Gillian is here plus my daughter Jessica, and my son Alexander. Luckily we have been able to wet a line or two together, and go for some exciting dives with them over the years. By the way, my Mum was the first lady angler in Jamaica, to catch two blue marlin in one day back in 1967.

Guy Giving his Mom a big hug after the induction.

Guy Giving his Mom a big hug after the induction.

Thank you for supporting the IGFA. Please have a great evening and I look forward to seeing many of you back here tomorrow night for the 2nd annual fundraiser and auction to support the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

The Guy Harvey exhibition at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame featuring Guys original pen and ink series of the "Old Man and the Sea".

The Guy Harvey exhibition at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame featuring Guy's original pen and ink series of the "Old Man and the Sea".