FantaSEA Football Furor Takes Over UMiami Rosenstiel School

It has been a long grueling season for you Fantasy Football owners. The roller coaster ride of emotions has been full with moments of joy, confusion (anyone owning C.J. Spiller or Jamaal Charles) and bewilderment (Seahawks vs. Packers).  Now it is playoff time – Winners move on, losers pack their bags and empty their wallets. But this had us thinking. What would the ultimate Fantasy Football roster look like? And what if this hypothetical roster was composed of sea life? So, in spirit of Fantasy Football playoffs, here is our Pro Bowl roster. Good luck!

OctopusQuarterback Octopus: It makes sense to put a cephalopod with 8 arms behind center. Honestly, who else would you want as your field general? Not to mention, the Octopus is highly intelligent and capable of making those crucial decisions. The Octopus is also able to camouflage himself as a defensive mechanism.

Running baTiger SharkckTiger Shark: This is our top point getter – think Arian Foster. This top predator is going to rack up tons of points and eat everything in sight. Sharks are the police of the ocean. If it’s 4th and goal, you are handing it off to the Tiger Shark.

MahiRunning backMahi-Mahi Flashy, quick, and strong.  Mahi grow quickly and are always ready for a good fight.  Their acrobatic moves and ability to change color make them a top pick for any good fantasy team.Otter

Wide Receiver Sea Otter: Think Julio Jones here. The sea otter is one of the only marine animals that can use his hands, is quick and reliable. The otter is very popular and is going to give you lots of points on a weekly basis.

SailfishWide ReceiverSailfish: Every team needs a player like AJ Green. Fast, explosive and has a deep threat potential. The Sailfish is arguably the fastest and most aggressive fish out there, and eats smaller fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Chalk up 6, because the Sailfish is going deep!

Humpback Whale by Kyra Hartog

Tight End Humpback Whale: Does Rob Gronkowski ring a bell? Much like Gronk, the Humpback Whale is multi-talented. It can block, dive, breach, swim long distances or stay in the same area (Hawaii breeding grounds). The Humpback Whale is our go-to passing option in the red zone.

KickeDolphinr – Dolphin: Can you think of a better option here? The Rosenstiel School is in Miami, we have the Dolphins, and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to reference Ray Finkle in a blog post. Ace Ventura aside, the Dolphin is a highly charismatic mega fauna, and can score you lots of points if need be. Don’t worry, pressure doesn’t get to ol’ Snowflake during that last second 50 yard field goal for the win.

TunaDefenseSchool of Blue Fin Tuna: The Chicago Bears defense has had a great fantasy season. Much like the Bears, the Bluefin Tuna are big, fast and it’s hard not to appreciate them. You can’t go wrong with the Bluefin Tuna.


Check out our FantaSEA team in action!

So what sea creatures would YOU have on your FantaSEA team?  Think you can beat us?  Write a comment below and let us know who you would have picked and why?

Brought to you by Andrew DeChellis & Laura Bracken; Drawings by Kyra Hartog; Animation by Lizzie Bracken. Special thanks to Austin Gallagher and Peter Chaibongsai for their invaluable assistance.


Student Has “Once in a Lifetime” Experience in Guatemala

The sheer power of a blue marlin and the acrobat skills of a pacific sailfish caught on light gear are some of the most exhilarating feats an angler can encounter, but the fast runs and jaw-dropping aerial jumps are something that every ocean love can appreciate. As an intern with The Billfish Foundation and a second year Marine Affairs and Policy student, I had the opportunity in November to take a short break away from my research and head to Guatemala to fish in the Presidential Challenge of Central America — a tournament series that generates $25,000 dollars a year for billfish conservation.

Team Billfish Foundation aboard the Intensity with Captain Mike Sheeder

Despite the fact that Guatemala is one of the only places in the world you can “pitch bait” sailfish and blue marlin, the amount of wildlife in addition to billfish in Guatemala is absolutely incredible. On the practice day of the tournament, the boat counted over 100 olive ridley sea turtles and during the following three days I was fortunate enough to see a humpback whale breach three times and spinner dolphin schools that stretched for as far as the eye can see.

Hooked up!

While my Spanish skills are not where they should be after countless years of Spanish in school, the phrase “san cocho” will be something that haunts me for some time. The “art” of pitch baiting can only be done in a handful of locations around the world because of the aggressive nature and abundance of billfish present—Guatemala is one of those. Rather than having hooked baits being trolled behind the boat, only teasers are used to attract fish up into the “spread” (If you were a fish looking up at what the boat was dragging, that would be the spread – all the lures and teasers the boat pulls. The purpose is to attract fish and look like baitfish that are running away). Once a fish is spotted in the spread, the captain will call out which teaser the billfish is trying to eat and at that point in time, it is the job of one of the anglers to “pitch” a ballyhoo (type of baitfish, most are caught off of south florida and then shipped all over the world) to the hungry and angry billfish that cannot seem to kill the plastic teasers. Once the sailfish eats and realizes that it is hooked up, it will immediately sky rocket and start a series of jumps and hard runs. Circle hooks are exclusively used in the sailfish fishery in Guatemala to improve the post release survivability of the fish because they hook the fish in the corner of the mouth rather than the stomach and are ultimately a conservation tool used by recreational anglers to ensure the health of the stock.

Pacific Sailfish About to swim away with a new tag

All in all, the tournament was a great success and Team Billfish Foundation finished in third place despite having mechanical problems on the second day of the tournament. The opportunity to do something like this as an intern at The Billfish Foundation was an extraordinary experience. Never did I think I would have the opportunity to take a break from my research (determining the socioeconomic benefits of billfish anglers in the Gulf of Mexico) to fish in one of the world’s premier fisheries.

To read more about the trip, visit The Billfish Foundation blog.

Andrew Cox
Marine Affairs & Policy Student
The Billfish Foundation Intern