The sea bottoms of peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo are among the most spectacular and species-rich in the world, thanks to the unique geographic location of the country. From giant turtles, frenzied sharks, to gregarious dolphins, Malaysia is a treasure trove of marine life. Rich in aquatic life, the country indulges in sport fishing where the primary reward is the challenge of finding and catching the fish rather than the culinary or financial value of the fish. One such internationally acclaimed fishing event is ‘The Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge’.
The Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge (RPBIC) is the largest fishing competition in Malaysia, currently involving many local and overseas participants. Scheduled to take place from August 21-24, 2014, this international challenge is the flagship event for Pahang Government State, Tioman Development Authority and Pahang Tourism. It is an annual off-shore ‘Catch and Release’ fishing competition held at Kuala Rompin. Rompin’s waters are known as one of the natural migration routes for the Billfish.
The concept of this competition is to create a healthy activity while preserving the species. Now in its 10th edition the challenge was initiated by the Joran Unit of BeritaHarian, a popular Malay language national daily newspaper in Malaysia. It is a highly anticipated event drawing scores of participants from around the world.
RPBIC takes advantage of the active migration season of the billfish, such as Marlin and Sailfish, passing the Rompin area from the northern hemisphere to their destination in Australia, from March to September. This annual billfish migration, passing through the area in their thousands, could be tracked via satellite. As observed during the fishing challenge, the reefs at Rompin, namely Karang (Reef) DO, Karang Cha, KarangBatuMati, Karang Buru, KarangLuas, BatuBerhala, KarangRompin, Batu Saga and TukunTayar provide some of the best resting places for the billfish before they move on, thus making it an ideal location for the fishing challenge as well.
Manoharan Periasamy, director, Tourism Malaysia, India, said, “The Royal Pahang Billfish International challenge is an international eco-friendly event highlighting the presence of exotic billfishes in the Pahang region. This is an ideal event for fishing enthusiasts, attracting a huge number of visitors as participants as well as tourists from all over the world,”
For those who seek adventure and eco – friendly sports, the billfish challenge is the place to be. The event greatly contributes to state tourism, as a