Left to right: Dan Jacobs, tournament director, Walter Cross, Minister Furbert, Glenn Astwood, Lovintz Cann. *Photo supplied
Left to right: Dan Jacobs, tournament director, Walter Cross, Minister Furbert, Glenn Astwood, Lovintz Cann. *Photo supplied

THURSDAY, JULY 26: The Bermuda Triple Crown concluded this week after a very successful three weeks of big game fishing.

The Bermuda Department of Tourism sponsored this series of tournaments organized by Bonnier Corporation and Tournament Director, Dan Jacobs. The tournaments included the Bermuda Billfish Release Cup, Bermuda Billfish Blast, Bermuda Big Game Classic and the Sea Horse Anglers Billfish Tournament; the latter three events comprise the Bermuda Triple Crown Series that were held in Bermuda’s waters July 4 through July 21. The annual tournaments attract the best sports fishermen in the world to Bermuda to vie for the title of Bermuda Triple Crown champion.

Minister of Business Development and Tourism, the Hon. Wayne L Furbert, JP, MP attend the awards ceremony and praised the efforts of Bonnier Corporation and Dan Jacobs for a organizing a professionally run tournament which places Bermuda as a pinnacle destination for sports fishing.

Minister Furbert stated: “The Government of Bermuda last year amended the immigration policy to allow visiting crews on boats to stay in Bermuda for up to 90 days instead of the previous 21 days. This has been an added benefit for visiting crews allowing them to stay in Bermuda longer. These visiting fishermen are vital to our economy and we will continue to work with our partners in the industry to ensure that they have plenty of reasons to keep coming back to Bermuda for many years to come.”

The Minister added: “As a result, what we have seen these past few weeks is a marked increase of some of the best sport fishermen in the world bringing their multi-million dollar boats to Bermuda specifically for the tournaments. It is one of the key goals of our National Tourism plan to build our marine tourism product and these tournaments and a shining example of the rewards that could bring.”

Tournament organizers estimate that more than 25 visiting sport fishing boats are in Bermuda. In addition, visiting anglers charter local fishing boats to take part in the tournaments. Including the owners, crews, family and guests, it is estimated that this year’s tournaments attracted more than 400 visitors to the island.

Conservative estimates in past years reported the average spending per boat was approximately $125,000 or over $3M spent in our local economy. With boats staying longer and spending more money while in Bermuda on hotels, rental homes, dockage fees, food and beverage, fuel, entertainment and transport the average spend will surely be exceeded in 2012.

Minister Furbert said: “Sport fishing is not all about catching fish and bringing them to the dock. In fact, of the many marlin caught during the tournaments this year, the vast majority of them were released. Bermuda, the tournament organizers and the anglers are very cognizant of the world class fishery that we have off our island and there is a great emphasis put on sustainability and conservation of our fish stock during these tournaments. Bermuda is one of the best fishing destinations in the anywhere and we want to ensure it remains that way for many years to come.”