Riviera owner and philanthropist Peter Teakle has been honoured with an International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) award for his contribution to marine research.
The IGFA in conjunction with Stanford University supplies satellite tags that are attached to billfish during fishing tournaments in seven countries each year. The data is downloaded via satellite to Stanford University’s marine facility at Monterey California where a team of scientists analyses and collects the information such as the GPS location of the fish, water depth and temperature.
Mr Teakle donated a satellite tag in December 2013 and he was surprised to learn that out of 30 tags, his travelled the furthest, some 2500 nautical miles.
“I was invited to the annual Gala Dinner in the IGFA Hall of Fame in Dania Beach, Florida in late January where I received my award,” Mr Teakle said.
“This kick started a trip to the USA where I could study the whole satellite tagging story. I was impressed with one of my tags that had been consumed by a shark and showed that this fish went to depths of 500 metres daily.”
Mr Teakle met Professor Barbara Block and Dr Randy Kochevar who is responsible for developing the first underwater satellite tags. These tags originated from the tagging of animals to now work for marine life.
“When Barbara learnt that I come from Port Lincoln in South Australia, she informed me that her great passion was studying tuna, so she showed me the massive tanks of live 300lb tuna and invited me to travel to Canada to put satellite tags into 1600lb tuna,” Mr Teakle said.
“I still can’t get my head around catching a 1600lb tuna on rod and reel but they showed me photos. Now this year, because of battery technology, we are going to use some of the tags I put into fish at the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic and set them to pop up at three and 12 month time periods.”
The team at Stanford University is looking forward to analysing the data on these tags after 12 months because they believe these fish return to Lizard Island each year to mate.
“At the presentation dinner at IGFA’s hall of fame, I announced a world first for a tournament. All boats at this year’s Black Marlin Classic will be deploying satellite tags. I must acknowledge Ernesto Bertarelli from Switzerland who is co-sponsoring this program along with myself.”
In a first for the southern hemisphere, Mr Teakle’s Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge and 70 Enclosed Flybridge are now official Stanford University research vessels.
The 28th Black Marlin Classic in Lizard Island will be held from October 11 to 18. For more information visit www.lizardislandgfc.asn.au