Amidst our global pursuits to see what’s out
there, it’s hard not to fall in love with the wild
places we discover and the people who call them
Costa’s Marlin Fly Project is the ultimate
culmination of Community X Conservation.
About the project
Southwestern Baja, Mexico is full of authentic culture and community, built alongside an untamed ecosystem that, for 3-4 months a year, features one of the most incredible striped marlin populations on the planet. Striped marlin have a brief history of minimal scientific research - making them one of the least understood billfish species - especially in this region of the globe, where they are the star of the show for ecotourism.
With the hopes of better understanding and protecting this important fishery, Costa developed the Marlin Fly Project, and ventured to Magdalena Bay, Mexico in 2022 in pursuit of tagging striped marlin on the fly.
Working directly with the local community in collaboration with scientists (from The Billfish Foundation, International Game Fish Association (IGFA), the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Fisheries Research & Development) and some of the most talented fly anglers from across the globe, the Marlin Fly Project successfully deployed 15 satellite tags in a mere 2 days of fishing – making it the first recorded billfish research campaign using exclusively fly fishing tackle - and all done from a small wooden panga, nonetheless.
About the community
About the community
Together with the help of Costa Pros, conservation partners, leading fisheries scientists, the Los Locos Mag Bay staff, local captains, and the community of San Carlos, Mexico, the inaugural Marlin Fly Project made history.
Inspired by their connection and commitment to the community, Costa partnered with our friends at Los Locos for this mission. Indifly, the original Costa project that spawned into a full-time organization, joined the mission to identify a potential social impact project.
We partnered with Finns West to outfit the Los Locos operation and guide boats with safety equipment and training, and involved Travel Creel to host cooking classes in the community,source produce, meats and seafood from local fisherman and farmers to prepare dinners each night to feed our crew.
On the final night, we hosted the local guide’s families and friends together for dinner (and dancing) in celebration of the success of our mission, which can be directly attributed to their hospitality and guidance. Our mission has always been to do good work that the local community can be passionate about, proud of and participate from start to finish.
All landed fish were fully assessed by scientists to determine viability prior to tagging, and swam off strong. Over the next year, scientists will analyze data from the 15 satellite tags and dozens of spaghetti tags deployed.
Findings from The Marlin Fly Project will help fill crucial data gaps on an understudied striped marlin population, which will be vital for the protection and management of this highly migratory species (HMS).
Check back here or follow @CostaSunglasses on social for the latest on #MarlinFlyProject, including satellite tag data and progress on projects in the local community
The Marlin Fly Project will continue its mission to create advocates for this fishery by fostering dynamic relationships and supporting this ecosystem and the people who depend on it.