Four Hilton Worldwide hotels in Costa Rica have pledged to stop serving sailfish and marlin after entering into an agreement with the Billfish Foundation (TBF) and the Costa Rica Sport Fishing Federation (FECOPT).

Last year, TBF released a study showing the significant economic value of sportfishing tourism in Costa Rica, and the four hotels are now taking billfish from the menu in an effort to promote responsible and soustainable tourism.

The four hotels that will no longer be serving billfish are these:

  • DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Costa Rica in Puntarenas
  • DoubleTree Cariari by Hilton San Jose
  • Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort and Spa in the in the Guanacaste region
  • Hilton Garden Inn Liberia Airport

The participating Hilton Worldwide hotels in Costa Rica are leading the way for Costa Rica’s tourism industry to move toward new levels of support for sportfishing conservation practices,” says FECOPT’s Executive Director Enrique Ramirez. “Using the impetus of our agreement with the participating properties we look forward to partnering with sustainable tourism tour leader Horizontes to let this precedent spread across the nation’s tourism industry.”

TBF President Ellen Peel applauded the agreement as a new standard for voluntary conservation action in the private sector.

We’re very pleased to see tourism businesses and government tourism officials responding so positively to the facts and information presented by our socio-economic research conducted with the University of Costa Rica that clearly supports TBF’s message that good conservation can be good economics.

TBF is the only non-profit organization focused entirely on conserving billfish populations. Established 25 years ago, it has been working with governments and the private sector to protect billfish from overfishing by fisheries and to implement tag and release programs for sport fishers. In addition to Costa Rica, TBF is active in countries such as Mexico, Panama and Peru.

TBF is proud of the efforts by Enrique Ramirez who secured the participation of the four participating Hilton Worldwide properties in Costa Rica and explained the conservation and business benefits of the world’s sportfishing tourists, reaffirming Costa Rica’s stature as one of the world’s premier fishing destinations,” says TBF Chief Scientist Dr. Russell Nelson. “We specially appreciate the foresight of the general managers at the participating Hilton Worldwide hotels in Costa Rica – Ricardo Rodriguez Gil, Laura Castagnini and Rui Dominguez – that supporting sportfishing conservation efforts are good for the oceans and good for business as well.”

For more information, visit www.billfish.org.

Bill fish

The term billfish is used for a number of large, predatory fish equipped with long, sword-like bills that they use to stun prey. The group includes sailfish, marlin and swordfish. Billfish are important apex predators in the ecosystems where they exist. The richest abundance of billfish is found in the tropics and subtropics, but they do occur in temperate waters as well, especially the swordfish.