The Beyond Our Shores Foundation was founded to engage the public in programs to collect data on marine fisheries, ocean habitats, and the impact those resources have on coastal and regional economies. The common thread that links all of those topics together is an economically and ecologically important finfish species, the dolphinfish, whose existence impacts many stakeholders throughout the fishing industry. In the Caribbean Sea and throughout Latin America, dolphinfish is one of the most common seafoods served at restaurants, frequent fish to fill recreational vessel fish boxes, and exciting species to catch during fishing charters. In addition, dolphinfish is one of the top recreational blue water troll species targeted in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic and is also caught in domestic and foreign industrial commercial fisheries. Despite the importance of the species, there is a lack of information necessary to quantify seasonal and interannual trends and the status of the species. Beyond Our Shores seeks to advance a multi-national effort in the Caribbean Sea and greater Western Central Atlantic Ocean to collect data across sectors to continually assess the status of dolphinfish. This effort will build momentum through the following linked and expanding research programs:
|The Dolphinfish Research Program (DRP) – Originally founded as a state funded program in 2002 by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the DRP has grown into the world’s largest dolphinfish mark and recapture program driven by the collaboration of fisheries scientists and volunteer recreational, charter, and commercial fishermen. Up to 2016, 21,458 dolphinfish have been marked and released, and of those, 551 were recaptured throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which provided fundamental scientific data on the movements and life history of this species. To learn more about the history of the program, how to request a free tagging kit, and support the DRP, click here.|
|Collaborative FAD Research Program – The first recorded use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) to aggregate open ocean fish for exploitation dates back to second century Rome (Taquet 2013). It was not until the 1950s that FADs began being used for commercial fishing throughout many ocean regions (Galea 1961; Gooding and Magnuson 1967). Currently, FADs are used by all fishing sectors (e.g., artisanal/subsistence, recreational, semi-industrial, and industrial) around the world and dolphinfish is a common, if not the most frequent, species that is caught. This is especially true of open ocean moored FADs in the Caribbean Sea. Our FAD research program is intended to gather fisheries and economic data on the FAD use, performance, effectiveness, and impact on pelagic fish species. The research program is
also intended to collect scientific data on FAD-fish movements, diversity, and abundance and inform the public about the results of the research program. Click here. to learn more about our research and get involved in data collection programs in the U.S. Caribbean Sea.
|SeasonalCatch Seafood Initiative– The SeasonalCatch Seafood Initiative is a research program intended to gather seafood supply chain information from small-scale commercial fishermen and privately owned seafood restaurants in Puerto Rico. The research program is also intended to promote sustainable commercial fishing and seafood consumption practices, local in-season sources of seafood, and inform the public about conservation minded fishermen and restaurants and provide incentives and tools to enhance their business and allow them to become the beat of ocean conservation in their communities. Menta Cuisine, owned and operated by chef Cedric Taquin, is one of those restaurants. Chef Taquin, a seasoned fishermen himself, partnered with BOSF to implement the pilot program to offer this program to other restaurants and fishermen in Puerto Rico. The pilot program was a huge success and data collection continues on a daily basis with MenTa Cuisine. To learn more and get involved click here.|