October 24th, 2016 — A Virginia Institute of Marine Science professor just joined Zane Grey, Ernest Hemingway and Izaak Walton as an inductee in the Fishing Hall of Fame of the International Game Fish Association.
John Graves is chancellor professor and chairman of fisheries science at VIMS in Gloucester Point. His induction this month is based largely on his billfish research, which has been “instrumental in the ongoing efforts to conserve game fish populations worldwide,” IGFA president Rob Kramer said in a statement.
“Anglers today owe him a great deal of gratitude,” Kramer said.
Billfish are large predatory fish notable for their prominent bills. Graves’ research led to the use of circle hooks for billfish, which VIMS says sharply increased the survival rate of marlin, swordfish and sailfish in the catch-and-release fishery.
His genetic research also enabled federal fisheries officials to distinguish between legally fished Pacific blue marlin and illegally fished Atlantic blue marlin.
Graves called his selection a “tribute to all fisheries scientists and fisheries managers.”