Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tag A Tiny 2009 Update!

The end of tuna season is fast-approaching in the northwest Atlantic!

The Tag a Tiny program has had its most successful year to date, handing out 1520 tags! Thanks for the donations that keep this project going. About 200 tagging reports have been returned to the LPRC, with more coming in every day! If you have tagged a fish with one of our tags, it's not too late to send it in.

To date, we have given out almost 5000 conventional tags. We have received tagging reports for 850 tags. Keep your eyes out for these tuna. They provide valuable information on migration, management, and age and growth.

Every bit of information helps, we look forward to hearing from you! See our website for updates on our most exciting outreach program.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

LPRC Research Cruise Bluefin tuna tagging, Nova Scotia, Canada 08-12 October, 2009

Bluefin tuna fishing in Canada has been great in the last few years. Canadian fishermen from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are reporting large numbers of bluefin giants swimming near coastal waters allowing a great opportunity for the LPRC to tag some of the fish that skip the Gulf of Maine during their migration.
So, on a stormy day I found myself on a ferry on the way to Nova Scotia to meet some hard-core bluefin fishermen and LPRC collaborators, on a mission to tag these giants.
As soon as I landed in Yarmouth harbor the Jacquards, Erik and Joel, along with Floy picked me up and we drove strait to Port Mouton to join Chris Malone on his boat, the F/V Rumbunkshus. We steamed north along the coast and by 21:05 we had our first hook in the water. I had high hopes for this tagging trip, but what happened that night exceeded all of my expectations. The Canadian fishermen (and fish) lived up to their reputation, and five minutes after we started fishing, a fish was on! By sunrise we had tagged six giants, what a great night. We continued fishing for two more days, with a short break due to bad weather, and deployed all the tags I had brought with me (10). These tags are programmed to stay on the fish up to one year and record valuable information, including fish location and swimming patterns.
Tuna season is almost over in the Gulf of Maine and “laboratory time” is approaching. The long winter ahead will be used to analyze data of previously tagged fish as well as biological samples collected throughout the season.
Stay tuned for updates!
Gilad Heinisch