On the day after Hurricane Irma, Sabers tooth anchorovy is the best thing to happen to shark fishing in Florida.
Sabers is the world’s largest and most productive shark in Florida, and the South Florida Fishermen’s Association said it was in a good place to reopen its business.
But it was still a disaster.
More than 1,000 fish caught in Sabers were not released, and most were dead, said Joe Hickey, president of the association.
And for all of the fish being released, most were not caught.
The problem was that the bait was bad, said Hickey.
It was the first time the association had ever had to make a decision about what to release in the waters.
Sabes teeth are the most prized in the world, with about 400 pounds of them on the market, Hickey said.
It’s not uncommon to have a couple dozen of them at one time, he said.
They are typically in the range of 50 to 75 pounds, and they can sell for thousands of dollars each.
So, the association was scrambling to get more teeth.
It needed to find a way to get those out to the markets.
So the association enlisted the help of a Florida-based company, Black Diamond Fisheries, and offered them the chance to release more teeth from a large steel tube, Hixon said.
Black Diamond was able to produce more than 100 pounds of the bait, and about 60% of those were released to the market.
Black diamond also offered to take a portion of the money for the shark trawlers to bring them to Florida, Hinton said.
The association was also trying to get some of the sharks released.
It wanted to release the largest, Hickel said, the big ones, because they were the most expensive to fish.
So Black Diamond offered to help, as well.
Hickey said the association is still sorting out the logistics, and he couldn’t provide much more information.
He did say that he would be happy to assist.