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Large in size and lightning fast, blue marlin are extraordinarily engineered animals that are apex predators in open ocean ecosystems. Found worldwide in tropical waters, blue marlin constitute a single species, Makaira nigricans, and are extremely migratory in nature. Conventional and satellite tagging has demonstrated that blue marlin readily undertake transoceanic migrations and are even capable of interoceanic movements where they move from one ocean to another. Because blue marlin grow to such large sizes and are highly migratory in nature, it might be easy to think that they are capable of going wherever they want. However, recent research indicates that this may not necessarily be the case. Yes, it appears that the old adage “oceans don’t have fences” may not be totally correct. Since it was launched in 2011, the IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) has deployed 137 popup satellite archival tags (PSAT) in marlin in 13 countries around the world. This unique partnership between Dr. Barbara Block’s lab at Stanford University and the IGFA is allowing us to collect telemetry data on billfish at an unprecedented scale. The PSATs that the IGMR utilizes collects information that lets us determine a billfish’s location, how deep it dives and what water temperature it inhabits. Continued BISBEE’S CONSERVATION JOURNAL Q1/Q2 • 2016 63


BCJ_Q1/2_2016
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