Threatened blue marlin killed for cash during fishing event

Threatened species Blue Marlin killed for cash during fishing event
A 640.5-pound blue marlin killed, 2023 White Marlin Open, credit: USA Today Network via Reuters Connect

A blue marlin, a threatened species, was killed for sport and money during the White Marlin Open deep-sea fishing tournament. 

The 640.5-pound blue marlin, listed as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, was caught and killed at the fishing tournament held in Maryland in the United States.

Blue Marlins are among the largest fish in the world, with females significantly larger than males. Females can weigh over 1,400 pounds and reach lengths of over 14 feet. The fish has a vibrant blue color which fades to a silvery white, a pronounced, spear-like bill and tall, pointed dorsal fin.

The Blue Marlin has become a popular target for sport fishers due to their size, power, and beauty. Catching one is often considered the ultimate goal of big-game fishing. This popularity has led to overfishing in some areas and declining numbers of the species.

Prominent global corporations, including Mercedes-Benz, Under Armour and Miller Lite, sponsored the fishing event, which has sparked controversy and debates on animal conservation and corporate responsibility. The fishing crew who killed the threatened animal won a cash prize of $6.2 million.

Critics of the event are drawing attention to what they see as an unacceptable double standard: the outrage that would undoubtedly occur if this were a lion hunt, for example, rather than a fishing competition.

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