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To cater for this the Council formed the NZ Marine Research Foundation.Officially launched in 1999 the Trust has already financed some very noteworthy projects for Kingfish and Striped Marlin, which are in the opinion of your Council the two most important fish to gamefishing in New Zealand.This led to the formation of several clubs over the next 30 years to enable fishers to collect records and share in the companionship of fellow members with similar interests.There was fierce rivalry between the clubs on records held, areas fished and how best to administer the sport.This tagging program has been increased and now includes Kingfish and very recently Tunas.
In the foreground are their boat men (skippers), Leon Warne and Bill Hodgson (Marlin) and Francis Arlidge and Peter Williams (Alma G). This situation continued until 1956 when Governor General, Lord Norrie, who was a very keen fisherman gifted a trophy to the sport.
The successful introduction of a commercial ban on the taking of marlin required the Council to introduce and promote tagging and releasing of marlin and sharks with a target of at least 50% release by our anglers.
This supported conservation and also provides valuable research data about the fish themselves to which much is still conjecture.
The early 80s saw a rapid drop off in marlin catches and the Council became more active in management and conservation of their target fish.
This led to a government moratorium on commercial fishers taking Billfish that now stands as a permanent regulation.