Photo by Brent Huggins


ann                          Why Tarpon?  


               Tarpon are long lived fishes.  Large tarpon can live in excess of seventy (70) years.  As with most long lived fishes, their reproductive success is very low.  Consequently, conscientious preservation of the species requires responsible stewardship derived from a better understanding of the life cycle and migratory patterns of tarpon.  By gaining insight into where tarpon go, why they go there and when, we can better understand environmental issues and man's impact on the species. 

               Tarpon are generally not sought as source of food.  Most consider the flesh of tarpon inedible.  Therefore, tarpon are almost exclusively sought after by recreational anglers.  That is not, however, to say that tarpon do not have a significant economic impact on communities with viable tarpon fisheries. Each year, in Florida alone, tarpon fishing brings millions of dollars to local communities along both coasts.  From the research undertaken so far, marine biologists have conclusively established that tarpon throughout the Atlantic and Caribbean migrate across state and international boundaries.  Consequently, activities beyond the control of many states and nations, therefore, impact the viability of local fisheries and could negatively impact local economies.

                   ITCA exists to create an avenue whereby meaningful research can be conducted into tarpon and increase our understanding of these great sportfish.  ITCA will then use that information to inform the public concerning reasonable conservation efforts and fishing practices to help preserve tarpon for generations to come.  However, ITCA will not lobby any government to change recreational fishing regulations.   ITCA's Bylaws say it best:


  • "The International Tarpon Conservation Association (ITCA) is dedicated to scientific and educational efforts to promote and contribute to the conservation of the Megalops Atlanticus, also known as tarpon... ITCA shall not  propose legislation or actively lobby any government or legislative body to impose additional regulations on charter or recreational angling. However, ITCA shall use its conservation, research and educational efforts to support legitimate biological research projects and inform anglers of ethical and responsible fishing techniques and management practices, all of which will conserve, promote and support tarpon populations around the world."

*  ITCA Bylaws, Section 1.02(a)