27,000-plus tuna tagged, released into the Pacific Ocean
SUVA, 22 JANUARY 2018 (FIJI TIMES) — The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Oceanic Fisheries programme went on a tuna tagging voyage and successfully released almost 27,780 tuna into the Pacific Ocean.
The SPC said the tags were gradually recovered and the data collected would contribute to their understanding of the health of tuna fisheries in the Pacific by monitoring mortality, movement, and growth of tagged fish. [restrict]
As the region is known to produce 60 per cent of the world’s tuna, SPC said the information collected provided critical population parameters that were then used to estimate the health of tuna stocks and the impact of fishing practices.
“The most critical fishing activities are the industrial scale purse seine, longline, and pole-and-line fisheries, but large catches are also made by smaller fishing vessels. However, threats such as overfishing and climate change put this vital natural resource at risk,” it said.
SPC tagged the tuna along the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
“During zhe recent voyage, tagging technicians placed small plastic tags called conventional tags on the tuna. The fish are caught using the pole-and-line fishing method.
“This allows the fish to be caught, measured, tagged and released in just a few seconds. Information on each tagged individual including species, length, fish condition and tagging quality is recorded.
“When fishers find a tagged tuna, they will receive a reward payment if they return the tag along with information about the date and location of recapture and size of the fish back to SPC. PACNEWS [/restrict]