NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging program hits half a million fish tagged!

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A tagged yellowtail kingfish. Image: Scott Thomas

THE NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging program is the largest saltwater tagging program of its kind in the world. In operation since 1973, the program has now seen over half a million fish tagged by recreational anglers.

The program provides valuable scientific information on the movement and growth of billfish, tuna, sharks as well as other sportfish like yellowtail kingfish and dolphinfish (mahi mahi). The program encourages fishers to help improve the knowledge and understanding of the fishery, by providing tag and recapture data, which can then be utilised by scientists to look at fish migrations and improve knowledge of fish stock structures.

Did you know: There have been 33,140 striped marlin tagged and 290 reported as recaptured since the program started in 1973. While the majority of recaptures occur along the East Coast of Australia, there have been three recaptures where a tagged striped marlin has travelled distances greater than 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 kilometres) from its original release location. The summaries of which are below:

  • Gold Coast to the New Zealand West Coast. 1175 nautical miles (2175km) in 521 days.
  • Bermagui to the Chesterfield Isles in the Outer Coral Sea. 1142 nautical miles (2110km) in 37 days.
  • Merimbula to Bellona Plateau in the Outer Coral Sea. 1007 nautical miles (1865km) in 218 days.

To find out more information on how to tag and report tagged fish, head to the NSW DPI website: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/resources/fish-tagging/game-fish-tagging

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