Tropic Star Lodge DRP Update

Expansion to the Tropic Star Lodge –

By Dr. Wessley Merten – December 2018

Built in 1963, the Tropic Star Lodge has a rich history and exemplary reputation as one of the best fishing destinations in the world.   The Tropic Star Lodge has provided the ultimate experience for Dolphinfish Research Program and the Tropic Star Lodge, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Guy Harvey Research Institute, NOVA Southeastern University offshore and inshore fishermen for more than 50 years and is very active in fisheries conservation work.  The Tropic Star Lodge was not only the first fishing resort in Panama to begin releasing all roosterfish and cubera snapper but it also adopted the use of circle hooks in the early 90s to improve the survival rates of released fish. Tropic Star Lodge, along with many leaders in Panama, have been responsible for establishing a 20-mile non-commercial fishing zone around Piñas Bay and also a decree that protects all billfish and roosterfish from commercial harvest.    Click here to read a document prepared by Panama’s Authority in Aquatic Resources.  Many of the topics discussed and progress explained in that document are the result of years of work with many different entities including the Tropic Star Lodge.

Dorado satellite tracking begins off southwest Panama Dolphinfish Research Program
Jessica Harvey, of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and Ryan Logan, Ph.D. student at the Guy Harvey Research Institute at NOVA Southeastern University, pass a 39.5″ bull fitted with a pop-up satellite archival tag (PSAT) nestled in a sling to a diver in the water during the 2018 Tropic Star Billfish Tournament. The bull shot out of the sling full of life and signified the beginning of satellite tracking work for dorado off the southwest coast of Panama with operations based out of the Tropic Star Lodge. The bull was caught by Louisa Gibson of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. Photo: Wess Merten

The tremendous conservation efforts outlined in the document above are fantastic achievements for Panama and we are pleased to announce that through the support of the Tropic Star LodgeGuy Harvey Research Institute at NOVA Southeastern University, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and captains, mates, local and visiting fishermen in Panama, the Dolphinfish Research Program successfully expanded to southwest Panama during the 2018 Tropic Star Billfish Tournament.  We outfitted the lodge’s fleet of Bertrams, along with 4 private boats, with more than 1100 conventional tags and we began our satellite tracking and fishing fleet work.   We are extremely excited to get the Tropic Star Lodge involved in the Dolphinfish Research Program to help advance ocean conservation and our knowledge of the life history, movements, population dynamics of dolphinfish in Panama.