Suggestions for how to handle billfish: (Based on Billfish Scientific Research)
1. Do not remove the fish from the water, even for a photo. (Removal from water reduces survival rates by 60 to 80%.)
2. Use a dehooking device to remove the hook. If hook cannot be removed, cut the leader as close to the hook as possible.
3. Use circle hooks. The fish is usually hooked in the jaw or corner of the mouth, making it easier to remove the hook and less harmful to the fish.
4. Revive the fish by keeping it in the water, place boat in gear and have oxygenated water pass over the gills.
A properly handled billfish has an 85 to 90% survival rate after being released.
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