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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Dolphin Tag

Marine Fisheries

Dolphin / mahi mahi

Dolphin Tagging Project

 

Project Description:

The Division of Marine Fisheries is conducting a study of movements and migration of dolphin, Coryphaena hippirus, through mark-recapture methods. Project objectives include determining movements and examining mark-recapture methods as a monitoring tool for this popular and important species. The first fish were released in July 2002.

Several types of tags are used in this study, allowing for evaluation of multiple biological and fishery characteristics. Small fish are tagged with a red internal anchor streamer tag inserted into the left side, similar to the tags used for red drum and striped bass. Larger fish are tagged with a red billfish style dart tag inserted below the dorsal fin. Some fish may have two tags, one of each style. Some fish will be tagged with 'High Reward' tags, which are white and carry a legend stating there is a $250 reward for return of the tag.

What to do if you encounter a tag:

We encourage all anglers who encounter tagged dolphin to return the tags. It is only through the tags that are returned and the supporting information provided by cooperating fishermen that we collect the data necessary for this project to succeed.

Information desired from recaptures includes the capture location, tag numbers, date of recapture, fork length (measured from the tip of the snout to the center or fork of the tail) if possible, and status (kept or released). Because evaluating movements is the primary objective of this study, please be as descriptive and precise as possible when reporting recapture information, ideally providing Latitude and Longitude of the capture location. We also require personal contact information to deliver the rewards.

Tag reports may be made by printing the Tag Reporting Form, completing the form, and mailing it to the DMF. Reports may also be made by telephone at 800-347-7205. Please leave a message with a number where you can be contacted and we will call you back to record the necessary information.

If the fish has more than 1 tag, please report both numbers. If only one number was recorded, it is still useful to note that a second tag was observed but the number of the tag was not recorded.

Standard RED tags may be returned to DMF or kept by the fisherman. If the fish is released, it is only necessary to report the tag number to receive the reward. Leaving the tag on fish that are released allows us to obtain multiple locations from single fish.

High Reward WHITE tags must be returned to DMF to receive the cash reward. If the fish is released, please cut off the streamer portion of the tag and return it to receive the reward.

For further information on this project, please contact Randy Gregory,randy.gregory@ncdenr.gov; or by phone at 252-726-7021.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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