Fishing contest demanded anglers kill their tarpon

I wish to comment on the fishing tournament held recently in Los Chiles Alajuela. The rules of this tournament required the anglers to KILL any tarpon caught so that they may be weighed. This is an outrage. It is unnecessary to kill fish for sport. They could have been measured, photographed, or filmed to ascertain the winner.

Contest winner's tarpon dangles for all to see. Photo: Martin Bernard

Luckily the water conditions were less than ideal, and only one tarpon was caught, killed, and strung up at the dock in Los Chiles. Its bloodied corpse was then seen by many tourists returning from their wildlife trips up the Río Frio. What sort of example of ecological conservation is that?

I have visited this area several times and always practice catch and release. Our freshwater environments are critically endangered worldwide. Tarpon are not good eating, and there should be a focus on preserving the fauna and flora and not killing for sport.

John Petchey

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