Eden to NZ; Fish recaptures re-write record books
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Fish may be slippery, but some just canít help getting caught again, with two exceptional recaptures recorded recently, as part of the NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging Program, NSW DPI Recreational Fisheries Manager Phil Bolton said today.
The NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging program is the largest saltwater tagging program of its kind in the world, with more than 350,000 fish tagged since 1973.
"Weíre very excited about these recaptures, it proves that fish are capable of travelling very long distances. Movements have been recorded across oceanic equators and even from one ocean to another," Mr Bolton said.
"The first was a yellowtail kingfish tagged near Eden, in NSW, in the winter of 2006.
"It was recaptured 1170 nautical miles (straight line distance) and 873 days later off Mangawhai Heads Beach on New Zealandís north east coast.
"This is only the third record of a kingfish traveling from Australia across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand waters."
A blue marlin was also recaptured, a staggering seven years and seventy one days after it was tagged.
"The blue marlin was tagged in the Huon Gulf, Papua New Guinea in January 2002 and was recaptured by commercial boat, fishing near a Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) near Pulau Fani, Indonesia in April this year," Mr Bolton said.
"The fish had travelled a minimum of 1076 nautical miles and broke the previous record of longest time at liberty for blue marlin by more than double, with the previous record standing at three years and two months.
"Itís very interesting that this recapture, and other marlin recaptures, have occurred in the same general area in Indonesia, the latest fish was caught by an artisanal fisherman using a hand line fishing next to an anchored FAD.
"Weíre pleased that the fisherman reported the recapture, especially one as significant as this.
"Blue marlin have a very low recapture rate, because they tend to be highly migratory and spend more time in deep oceanic waters, with only 18 recaptured since 1973."
The Program continues to issue tags free of charge to participants and is funded by the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust.
Media contact: Sarah McGregor 0427 075 167