Tagging Saltwater Fish
Saltwater Fish Tagging Programs and Techniques
Why Do Scientists and Fishermen Tag Fish?
Saltwater fish tagging programs have an array of uses, but almost all tagging programs share on thing in common; the goal of gathering data about fish. Most tagging programs seek information on fish movements, growth, behavior and mortality.
Simple fish tags have printed information and instructions on how to return the tag. These tags remain on the fish until it is harvested. Some high tech tags monitor and record data. Some fish tags even pop off the fish and float to the surface where they transmit information or are recovered by scientists.
Game Fish Tagging Programs
The following list includes some of the many saltwater fish tagging programs:
Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, Virginia Gamefish Tagging Program
968 S. Oriole Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 491 - 5160
(757) 491-5172 (fax)
North Carolina Adult or Juvenile Red Drum Tagging Program
P.O. Box 769
Morehead City, NC 28557
South Carolina DNR Adult Red Drum
PO Box 12559
Charleston, SC 29422-2559
Georgia Cooperative Angler Tagging
One Conservation Way, Suite 300
Brunswick, Georgia 31520
Most programs offer rewards for re-captured tags.
In Virginia the reward varies, either a t-shirt, hat, fish pin, or plastic utility box.
North Carolina offers $5 or a hat.
South Carolina offers a hat.
In Georgia the reward varies, but usually consists of a t-shirt or hat.
Saltwater Fish Links
- Commercial Fishing
a resource for commercial fishing, aquaculture, online seafood vendors, seafood wholesalers, bait dealers, equipment suppliers, fishermen, commercial boat builders and anyone interested in commercial fishing.
- Northeast Regional Cod Tagging Program
The Northeast Regional Cod Tagging Program (NRCTP) began in late 2002 and represents the largest cod tagging program initiated to date along the eastern seaboard of the North American continent.
- Northeast Consortium Haddock Tagging Program
With grant support from the Northeast Consortium, CCCHFA has developed a tagging program for Atlantic haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus).
- Tag-A-Giant Foundation
The Tag-A-Giant Foundation is committed to reversing the decline of northern bluefin tuna populations by supporting the scientific research necessary to develop innovative and effective policy and conservation initiatives.
- Yellowtail Flounder Cooperative Tagging Program
The Yellowtail Flounder Cooperative Tagging Program seeks to provide more information about yellowtail, such as mortality, growth, and behavior, to improve assessments and management plans.
Virginia Institute of Marine Science White Marlin Tagging
In a Virginia Institute of Marine Science study on white marlin, some surprises were found about where they spend the majority of their day and how deep they actually go. The white marlin study also found a big difference in survival between fish caught on circle hooks (58 of 59 survived; <2% post-release mortality) as compared to J-hooks (13 of 20 survived; 35% post-release mortality).
Field Guides to Saltwater Fish from Amazon Books
Commercial Fisheries Tagging Programs
Fisheries regulators and scientists also rely on fish tagging programs.
Among the many tagging programs are projects from NOAA's Northeast Fisheries office which tag cod, haddock and other groundfish.
Commercial Fisheries tagging programs include:
Cooperative Black Seabass Tagging Project - http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/read/popdy/blackseabass-tagging
Cooperative Scup Tagging Project - http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/read/popdy/scup-tagging/
Cooperative Shark Tagging Program - http://na.nefsc.noaa.gov/sharks/tagging.html
Northeast Regional Cod Tagging Program - http://www.codresearch.org
Northeast Consortium Haddock Tagging Program - http://www.gmamapping.org/haddockmapping/
Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermens Association, Haddock Tagging - www.ccchfa.org
Northeast Fisheries Science Center - www.nefsc.noaa.gov
Saltwater Fishing on DVD
ATTENTION FISHERMEN: REWARD FOR INFORMATION FROM TAGGED SUMMER FLOUNDER
Florescent green circular tags are pinned through the anterior dorsal region of the fish (see graphic). The "button" portion of the tag bears a serial number and a contact phone number. A select number of fish will also have acoustic tracking tags attached. We encourage the release of any tagged fish with the tag still attached, especially sub-legal sized fish, so that further data can be collected from subsequent recaptures. Any fish with tracking tags should be retained since the tags are reusable.
Whom to contact?
Fishermen encountering these tags are requested to report recapture information to Paul Caruso at the following addresses or phone number:
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
1213 Purchase St- 3rd Floor
New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone number 508-990-2860 x 107
What to report?
The serial number, location of recapture, date captured, length of the fish, and your name, address, and telephone number should all be
reported. Responders will receive a reward, and randomly selected responders will receive a $100 gift certificate, good for the purchase of fishing equipment or supplies.
Why are summer flounder being tagged?
Summer flounder are being tagged in Massachusetts's waters to determine movement patterns and if the same fish return to local waters in subsequent years. Results of this study could allow the evaluation of alternative management strategies in the future that could benefit local fisheries.