A.B.F. Figures & Results

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 Break Down of Fish Tagged from 1991 to 2011


The A.B.F. has tagged a total of 46,279 fish since 1990, the pie chart above left represents the break down of tagged fish.  Of that total tagged, 77% were sailfish (red) with 35,735 fish tagged, 10% were striped marlin (green) with 4,420 fish tagged, 7% were fish other than billfish (yellow) such as giant trevally, shark, tuna, etc. with 3,148 fish tagged, 3% were black marlin (black) with 1,387 fish tagged, 2% were broadbill swordfish (orange) with 1017 fish tagged and finally with 1% blue marlin (blue) with 572 fish tagged.

The graph above right represents in red the total of all billfish reported caught in Kenya (tagged, released or killed). While the blue shows the total of billfish tagged. The graph represents how successful the A.B.F. has been in educating the fishing concerns the importance of conserving this incredible fishery. Back in the early nineties around twenty percent of all billfish were been tagged compared to 2008 when nearly ninety percent of all billfish were tagged. Unfortunately with funds for free tags to charter boats running out in the 2008 to 2009 season the percentage fell back to less than 60% tagged setting tagging back by years, while the numbers of billfish being killed by sport fishing boats increased dramatically to an all time high of over 1500 billfish reported in the 2009-10 season! After the dark years of 2009 & 2010 tagging rates are back up to previous average with 578 billfish reported killed.

The graph below shows the different billfish that were tagged from 1992 to 2010 (please note that sailfish numbers are indicated on the left axis while the number of all other species are on the right axis).


Kenyan Seasonal Catches (includes all fish reported tagged, released or dead)
The graph above shows the entire Kenyan sport fishing catch of billfish and shark (tagged, released or killed) per season from 1984 to 2009 (again only sailfish on left axis). Record seasons include sailfish in 08/09 with 7,272 fish, striped marlin in 09/10 with 1,055 fish, broadbill swordfish in 97/98 with 219 fish, blue marlin in 09/10 with 141 fish  and black marlin in 08/09 with 352 fish.

The numbers of  boats fishing off of Kenya has risen dramatically over this 25 year period, particularly in the past 5 to 10 years. These newer purpose built boats have  vast improvements in range and with more efficient fishing tackle and techniques available, these are almost certainly more of a factor for the rise in annual catches than any major increase in billfish numbers over that time.

The graph to the right is the annual Kenyan catch of yellowfin tuna, dorado, giant trevally, wahoo and kingfish.(dorado and yellowfin tuna numbers on left axis).  Numbers have remained steady for all but the dorado who's numbers have been steadily down since 1994 when 7,275 fish were caught compared to 2006 with only 1331.

An interesting period between 2000 and 2005 saw an huge explosion in the mantis prawn population all along the Kenyan coast, attracting massive numbers of yellowfin tuna coming in closer to shore than usual and reaching record size (over 100kgs), kingfish numbers also spiked over this time. A factor influencing these figures that should be taken into consideration was that very poor numbers of billfish saw boats targeting game fish more often than usual.

PDF filePDF file available:
Tagging figures 2010 (294 Kb)  and 
Species tagged per season (46 Kb)