Ernie Foster of Hatteras village has been honored by the Billfish
Foundation, the world's leading conservation organization for marlin,
sailfish, spearfish, and associated highly migratory species.
The group, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, last
week announced the winners of its prestigious Rybovich Lifetime
Achievement Award. The winners included Foster, Captain Kelvin
"Red" Bailey of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and Bonnie Powell of
The award is named in honor of the late John Rybovich, a pioneer in billfish conservation and sportfishing vessel design.
"Captain Ernie Foster of Hatteras, North Carolina, grew up on boats
fishing in the family’s charter business, the Albatross Fleet," the
Billfish Foundation said in a news release. "His father, Capt. Ernal
Foster, one might say launched charter fishing in the region in 1937
when he began charging anglers to take them fishing; others
laughed. In the early 1950s when his boat landed a 451 pound blue
marlin, the Dare County’s first public relations specialist was present
and took photos. When those photos spread worldwide, Hatteras was on
the map as a hot spot for offshore fishing."
Ernal Foster was also the first in the area to have clients ask to release a big blue marlin, which he did.
Today, the foundation notes, Ernie manages the Albatross Fleet of three boats and runs the Albatross III.
The foundation also acknowledges Foster's role in fisheries issues.
"Having witnessed significant changes in fishing, in government
regulations and changes in the abundance of many fish species, Ernie
finds it necessary to take an active role with fishery management
issues. And, when some situations pit commercial fishing and
recreational fishing against one another in his community, that is when
Ernie most likely finds his earlier professional experience as a
guidance counselor most useful."
Finally, the foundation says that Foster views his community as a
"fishing community" first because each person depends directly or
indirectly on fishing, "a way of life that foster wants to see continue
for all Hatteras residents."
The awards will be presented during the foundation's annual gala, which
this year will be on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Harbor Beach Marriott
resort on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Fla.
For more information, go to the Billfish Foundation website, http://www.billfish.org/news/billfish-foundation-announces-2016-rybovich-lifetime-achievement-award-winners/.