Caitlyn Savoia

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2016


Billfish and tunas are highly migratory species that are subject to extensive fishing pressure throughout their range resulting in conservation and management concerns. The joint research effort of scientists and anglers of the Cooperative Tagging Center (CTC) has been able to provide distribution, movement, and biological information pertaining to billfish and tuna. While there are many drawbacks to constituent-based tagging programs, it would be impossible to gather such extensive movement data on billfish and tunas at a reasonable cost with any other approach. In an effort to assess participation and review data collected, newsletters were once created annually by the CTC although now they are done every ten years. The last newsletter completed in 2006 found that tagging effort peaked in the early 1990's and then decreased until 2006. The ability to continue deriving valuable scientific information from the data collected by the CTC requires that angler participation in the program remains high. The purpose of this study was to complete a review of the data collected by the CTC between the dates of January 01, 2006 and December 31, 2015. It was found that, compared to other decades since the tagging program began in 1954, the lowest number of both tagged and recaptured fish occurred from 2006 to 2015, indicating a lack of volunteer participation. This project assesses the overall success of the program based on total tagging effort and makes suggestions on the potential for updates and improvements where necessary. Efforts were also made to improve quality control of the historical data set through tag card scanning. A newsletter will be completed as a result of this project which will be used as an educational outreach tool, made available to potential and participating anglers who are interested in the CTC.


Department: MES

MPS Track: MCO

Location : National Marine Fisheries Service

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