Panama Tarpon Conservation was founded by Rich Cahill, & Gaby Rangel. Rich is a fisherman, naturalist, and expedition leader born and raised in Panama to American parents who helped pioneer ecotourism in the 1990s in Panama, and is a current co-founder of Ancon Expeditions, working in this field for over 30 years. Gaby is a renowned television producer, of Panamanian parents, who has worked for more than 25 years in the television industry as a News producer and special events, standing out in documentaries and live programs. Together founded Panama Canal Fishing in 2006, Gaby & Rich and increasing highlighted his concern for continuous efforts to catch and release Tarpon, because of its evolutionary value and ongoing research.
With the opening of the new set of locks in 2016, Panama's freshwater bodies increased their salinity, allowing other fish to enter this waterway, like Crevalle Jack, Atlantic Needlefish, Corvina among others. This salinity is possibly affecting vegetation and fish communities, sparking concern for sports fishermen and becoming a subject of conversation. This gaining interest has propelled us to embark on this study and conservation effort.
In 2020, these possible changes in salinity also interested Dr. Jack Stein Grove, Ph.D., senior author of FISHES OF THE GALAPAGOS (Grove & Lavenberg, 1997) published by Stanford University Press. (Ph.D. in Marine Biology) which was interest in the project because of the Atlantic Tarpon being found recently on the Pacific shores of Ecuador, just a few years ago. Dr. Grove joined this project as a board member interested to see further scientific study and data on the journey of this newcomer range in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Corridor CMAR
Although the scientific community has been studying tarpon transit along with other fish for years, there remain many unknowns. We intend to involve the sportfishing community, to collaborate providing data for the scientist ongoing research. It's our mission to elevate this species protection to a full catch and release of fish.
Join us on this unique project to save and conserve the Atlantic Tarpon in Panama!