NOAA Fisheries recently reached out to the crew of the Canadian Coast Guard aboard the ship Cape Spry thanking them for recovering 3 electronic tags NOAA biologists attached to giant bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico.
The tags popped off near Prince Edward Island, Canada. An electronic tag recovery is a big deal. After each tag pops to the surface, it begins transmitting summaries of data on water temperature, swimming depth and estimates of location recorded during the months the tag was attached to the fish.
This kind of detail can provide information on the behavior of the fish, and how it may change by time of day, habitat and season. The primary objective of NOAA’s Gulf of Mexico tagging study is to evaluate the post-release mortality rate of bluefin tuna, caught as bycatch and released by our pelagic longline fishery.
NOAA, July 28, 2014; Image: NOAA