The winner of TBF’s first Sid Johnson Memorial Conservation Trophy was won by team Vesper from Trinidad for releasing the most billfish during the 2012 Southern Caribbean Billfish Circuit. The Vesper team includes boat owner Jerome Mcquilkin, Captain Gerard “Frothy” de Silva; mate Nigel Garcia, three anglers Derick Tardeau, Ayoub Kabli and James Layton. TBF president Ellen Peel presented the trophy to Captain Frothy at the Marlin Madness tournament for the rest of the team was competing in the Bonnier World Championship in Costa Rica.
The late Sid Johnson from Trinidad was an early advocate for catch and release of billfish and fought hard to try to get Trinidad to stop allowing the distant-water-fishing nation of Taiwan from using the nation’s port as a major transshipment location. Johnson was recognized with a Special Achievement Award by TBF in 1998 for his push for conservation, responsible fishing and fighting overfishing from distant-water-nations that overfish billfish, which they kill as bycatch. Johnson later served on TBF’s board of director and was very helpful in keeping TBF informed on issues in the southern Caribbean.