Monthly Archives: September 2015

Reef fish return to the Deep! Tracking gag grouper after catch and release.

acoustically tagged gag

A gag grouper fitted with an ID tag and an acoustic pinger. These ‘pingers’ allow researchers to monitor fish behavior after release.

Reef fisheries are economically important to commercial and recreational industries in the state of Florida. Most species are carefully managed through quotas, size limits and seasonal closures; however, these regulations are effective only if released fish survive.

Gag grouper are a favorite target for many marine anglers in the Gulf of Mexico. Seasonal and size restrictions contribute to recreational discard, and the associated release mortality is an important consideration during stock assessments. There is  uncertainty regarding current discard mortality estimates, and the effectiveness of different barotrauma mitigation techniques is unclear.

DD release

A gag grouper is returned to the reef using a weighted release device. This method provides an alternative to venting.

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