The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) understand the value and importance of regular ongoing research on Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs). DPI have implemented a monitoring program at the FADS which uses stereo video technology linked to a GPS to record the sizes and positions of fish around the FADs. This information is vital to understanding the size frequencies of fish that visit the FADs, as well as how the FADs are used spatially.
Catch information from recreational fishers is essential for the ongoing development and enhancement of the DPI FADs program. Recreational fishers are encouraged to participate in tagging to assist DPI in collecting data for the FADs program. Results so far have shown that approximately 96% of FAD captures are mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus). The remaining 4% consisted of a variety of pelagic fish species including striped marlin (Tetrapturus audax) and wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri).
The DPI FADs program has resulted in mahi mahi becoming one of the most popular and reliable pelagic sportfish targeted by recreational anglers off the coast of NSW. The yellow pelagic tag should be used to tag mahi mahi.
Never try to tag a small mahi-mahi while the fish is in the water or dangling from a hook. Placing the fish on a piece of wet foam or sponge helps to subdue the fish considerably, reduces stress and increases post tagging survival rates. Before the fish is brought into the boat, have a tag in the applicator, a wet towel and a measuring device ready. Follow these simple steps:
Large mahi-mahi (fish over 6 kilograms and roughly 90 centimetres fork length) should be tagged in the water. When tagging a mahi-mahi in the water, the vessel should continue its forward motion as the fish is brought along side, helping to subdue the fish by keeping it swimming while beside the boat. Tagging should not be attempted until the fish has settled down and presents a clear, stable view of its side. Follow these simple steps:
Please note: It is very important that accurate data on each fish is recorded on the tag-return card to maximize the value of any recaptured fish. Accurate GPS waypoints (WGS84) or the FAD you are fishing at is critical for determining position of the first release and recapture. Please print clearly on the card.
Yellow pelagic tags and applicators can be issued to clubs or individual anglers by contacting the FADs program coordinator on (02) 4424 7423. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name, postal address, contact phone number, number of tags you require and the location you intend to fish.