by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Inaugural Spicy Tuna Fishing Tournament starts 7 September
- Focus on catching only tuna species; half to be donated to charity
The Spicy Tuna Fishing Tournament has been added to the calendar of sportfishing events in Grenada. It makes its inaugural debut on Friday, 7 September and will conclude on Saturday, 8.
Organisers of the Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament and the Grenada Tourism Authority endorse the collaborative effort between the Grenada Game Fishing Association and Trinidad and Tobago Game Fishing Association.
Over 15 anglers from Trinidad and Tobago are here on the island to compete, and unlike most sportfishing tournaments, the Spicy Tuna Fishing Tournament will focus on catching only tuna species as opposed to Marlin and billfish.
Fishing will start at 6:30 am on both days. On Friday the scales will be closed at 6 pm and close at 5 pm on Saturday.
Tournament Director Mark De Verteuil says the inspiration to bring this tournament in Grenada started after experiencing the Spice Island Billfish Tournament 3 years ago.
He said as part of this year’s tournament, half of the fish caught will be donated to charity. “We want to focus on tuna, most of the events around the region focus on marlin, billfish or other species but we are only going to be focusing on yellowfin tuna. In my opinion, this species is unique to Grenada in the sense that Grenada has access to some world-class yellowfin tuna, so we are here trying to take advantage of that. We hope for some good fishing, and we are planning to donate half of the fish we bring to the scales to charity, so that is a big aspect we are looking forward too.”
“This is big news for Grenada and for our tourism industry as sportfishing is an event that has found its own niche,” said Nikoyan Roberts, Manager, Nautical Development at Grenada Tourism Authority. “The Spice Island Billfish Tournament was previously the only game in town; this year was the 49th year, next year will be the 50th anniversary. However, due to this partnership and promoting more sustainable activities working with the FAO and the Caribbean Billfish project, the Grenada Game fishing Association was born, and so we are still fishing sustainability. We now have a 2nd sportfishing tournament for people all over the region and the world to come and enjoy.”
Meanwhile, longest-running continuous sports fishing tournament in Grenada has reached a milestone as the organising committee for the annual Spice Island Billfish Tournament gears up to celebrate its 50th Anniversary in January. Chairman of the tournament Richard McIntyre said the committee welcomes this opportunity to invite the organisers of the Spicy Tuna Fishing Tournament to Grenada and hopes that this event will continue to grow.
“What this does for us is to build the existing relationship between Trinidad and Grenada, since Trinidad has been one of our main supporters when it comes to competing in our local tournament. There is no other fishing community that has as many boats and is showing that much interest and our tournament success depends on the participation of Trinidad boats, so we consider this is a win-win situation.”
For the last 49 years, Grenada has hosted this prestigious fishing tournament, unrivalled in the Southern Caribbean, and preparations are well underway for next year’s tournament as the Grenada Yacht Club makes significant improvements to the venue to accommodate and support the expected increases in boats and anglers for the event.