We operate a Tag & Release policy on board of the Cal Rei.
All billfish caught for release (Atlantic Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Short and Long Bill Spearfish) on board our boat are tagged alongside the boat at which point we make an accurate estimate of the weight of the fish. This is based on the length and width of the fish together with other indicators known to our experienced crews
The fish is then fully revived before being released. Depending on the fight time with the fish, this can take up to 10 minutes, though most are released in a shorter time.
An epic fight with a marlin should take less than an hour (the average is 30 minutes, to ensure that the fish is not exhausted), achieved by "backing down" hard to help the angler's work rate.
Photographs can be taken by and for the angler while the fish is alongside the boat, and we have video cameras on board for full coverage of the epic battle, right up to and including release.
Under NO circumstances should Marlin be boated for photos, as this only causes more stress for the fish, and could be damaging to it. All hooks should be removed, as cutting off the leader and leaving the hook in the fish should be avoided at all costs.
We only take the fish to the harbor when it died in the battle (tail wrapped) and than we give it to the local fisherman.