“You are what you eat”
The Tarpon Isotope Study is focused on understanding the diet of Atlantic tarpon. Tarpon (and other fish and wildlife) incorporate the chemical makeup of what they eat into their body tissue. So, by taking small fin clip samples from tarpon, scientists can estimate what tarpon eat without having to use more invasive techniques, such as gut content analysis.
Through this process, we can link juvenile and adult tarpon movements and habitat use to prey group, including important forage fish such as menhaden. Determining the connections between prey species and habitats will fill knowledge gaps related to the reliance of tarpon on regional prey groups that are important for the Silver King along its seasonal migration. The study’s results can inform improved management of forage fish, which are essential to the health of the tarpon fishery.
But WE NEED YOUR HELP! Do you fish for adult or juvenile tarpon and want to participate in this important research project? To request a fin clip kit be sent to your address, please fill out the form below: