Looking closer at this plastic dart tag, inserted below the second dorsal fin, he saw something written: SPC NOUMEA-REWARD – www.spc.int/tagging, which allowed him to send this e-mail to the Tuna Tagging Programme when he reached his homeland, Columbia.

 

In 2010 almost 10,000 tags were sent to SPC in this way, from fishermen like Jorge, or from tag recovery officers collecting tags at the national level, or from tuna processing industries.

 

SPC’s Oceanic Fishing Programme has gone to great lengths to inform people working in the fishing sector about the tagging programme and to persuade them to take part. With support from the EU-funded SciCOFish project, they have published an informative poster and distributed it to Pacific ports — the vessels and landing docks — fishing companies and processing industries such as canneries or loining plants.

 

 TT_tuna

Juvenile bigeye marked with a conventional 13 cm yellow tag

 

 

Tag recovery information across the Pacific Ocean

 

The poster shows the different tags that can be found on tuna and explains where to send the tag and what data to note — the tag number; where, when and how the tuna was caught; its fork length (the length from the snout to the fork in the tail); its weight and what kind of tuna it is. In the case of orange and green tags, the person will have to check for an electronic tag inside the fish.

 

There is also information on the poster about the network of tag recovery officers from local fisheries offices; they organise the collection of tags in their country and are in charge of finders’ rewards, which range from USD 10 for a yellow dart tag to USD 250 for an archival tag.

 

We are confident that most of the people working in the Pacific fisheries sector are now aware of the tagging programme and its issues. And if the tag falls into the hands of someone who has not heard of it, the website address on the tag will take them to all information they need.

 

 

Fisherman serving sustainable fisheries

 

All recovered tags are sources of useful information on tuna behaviour and migration. The SPC Oceanic Fisheries Programme uses them to assess and monitor tuna stock status and movement patterns, with the objective of sustainably managing the fisheries in the region.

 

The contributions of people working in fisheries, such as Jorge sending back data and tags to SPC, are of great value to ensure the sustainability of this vital renewable resource — a resource that is vulnerable and, in the case of several popular tuna varieties, is already being over-exploited.

 

 

TT_map

A map of the western and central Pacific, showing the movement of tagged yellowfin tuna

between the point where they were released and where they were recaptured.

Because many of the fish are recaptured quickly,

the diagram shows only those that travelled more than 500 km.

 

 

For more information, please contact Caroline Sanchez

Last Updated on Friday, 30 November 2012 09:36
 

 


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