Bonefish Tagging to Study Movements

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Tagging and recapture of bonefish will provide information on bonefish movements, size structure of bonefish in the fishery, and habitat use. This information will be applicable to determination of what geographical areas should be used for management, and to what extent bonefish in different areas mix. This research will identify which habitats and areas are essential for bonefish, and help determine locations and sizes of conservation zones.

To date, tagging has been conducted entirely by guides who have been trained by BTT scientists. While this has been a successful approach, a more effective means of getting large numbers of bonefish tagged in a short amount of time (and thus decrease the amount of time needed to get data from recaptured fish) is for BTT scientists to work with lodges and guides to use large seine nets to catch and tag bonefish. This approach was successful in Abaco in 2010, during a week in which nearly 400 bonefish were tagged. In 2012, we will increase efforts to fund and conduct these tagging events.