Black marlin travels 3000 kilometres in six months!

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Black marlin. Image: Ian Osterloh

FOLLOWING the recent insights of two travelling, tagged yellowtail kingfish and details of a long-term, Pacific bluefin tuna recapture, the NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging Program has revealed an impressive black marlin tagging story.

This time, the details of a black marlin recapture were emailed to the program from MRAG Asia Pacific, an independent fisheries management consultancy firm. One of their associate fisheries observers had received the details of a recapture from a local subsistence fisher who was fishing offshore of Rabual, Papua New Guinea. The fish was recaptured on 7 July 2021 and was estimated to be 50kg.

A quick search of the NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging Program database revealed that the fish was released offshore of Port Macquarie on 10 January 2021, during the annual Golden Lure tournament. The fish was caught and tagged by Newcastle and Port Stephens Game Fishing Club member Joel Abercrombie, who was fishing aboard The Omen. The Omen team went on to win champion boat for the "tag and release" category of the competition. The juvenile black marlin was estimated at 40kg when released. The fish had spent only 178 days at liberty, but was caught more than 1625 nautical miles (~3005 kilometres) from its original release location, swimming a minimum, straight line distance of 17 kilometres per day!

The NSW DPI says, each reported recapture contributes to our understanding of pelagic fish species. If you are lucky enough to recapture a tagged fish, please ensure you report it using the online recapture form which can be found here.

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