Learn about the International Tarpon Conservation Association (ITCA). Who we are, what we do and how we do it. ITCA is a new generation conservation organization that believes conservation can be accomplished through research and education, not legislation.
For those who may have some concern over the use of a lip gaff on a tarpon. Lip gaffing is sometimes necessary to the placement of tags. While not always needed, when placing satellite tags or some streamer tags, it is a necessary evil. At times, the use of a swim style lip gaff can actually facilitate the recovery of a tired fish. The research has shown that the hole created by the lip gaff causes no long term negative impact on the fish. The hole heals quickly and after satellite tagging many tarpon, there has been no demonstrative mortality related to the practice. If there were, we wouldn't do it. In most fishing instances, lip gaffs need not be a standard practice. Doing as little harm as necessary is best, unfortunately the research sometimes requires the use of a lip gaff for safe handling of the fish at the boat.