Bull Tracked in the Caribbean / 2021 Tagging Progress
Bull Tracked in the Caribbean / 2021 Tagging Progress
Made Possible by a Grant from the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

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47" Bull Tracked in Caribbean Sea

Caribbean Sea
A 57-day track of a 47" bull tagged off southwestern Puerto Rico revealed differences in habitat use and movement patterns, as the fish utilized four main areas before it was recaptured at a fish aggregating device (FAD) south of Isla Saona, Dominican Republic, on May 20th, 2019.  We first released the story of the recovery of the satellite tag in June 2019 (click here to read that story) and today we are excited to share the details of the track for the first time.  While not considered a broad-scale movement, the 445-mile long track showed us that this bull used a variety of habitats

throughout the region at a varied pace.  The most extensive and deepest diving behavior was observed off south and western Puerto Rico, but the fish spent the greatest amount of time, relative to area and monitoring period, south of La Romana, DR. 

For nearly the entire month of April,
the fish occurred throughout the Mona Passage and dove to its deepest depth of 489' just off Puerto Rico's west coast on April 6th.  During the 57-day monitoring period, the bull experienced three full and two new moon phases.  Depth use during these periods did not show a pattern or trend.  In terms of patterns or trends observed over the period, both night and the presence of extensive shelf habitat, which likely affect differences in foraging habits for prey, appeared to be drive changes in the vertical movements of this animal.  Click here to read more about the movements of this bull in the Caribbean Sea.  

2021 Tagging Progress to Date

We are halfway through the year and already have record participation.  We would like to thank the more than 72 vessels that have tagged and released at least one fish this year and submitted the data to our program.  One of the main objectives of our tagging program is to get as many anglers involved by distributing tags.  To date, we have distributed 3,957 tags in 388 tag kits to anglers throughout the Western Central Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea!  Despite 1,092 fish tagged, however, our current recapture rate (0.82%) is the lowest of our 20-year program history.  
While we did have a tag reported from a beach (tag shedding) and another unverified recovery because we never received the release data, why such a low recovery rate this year?  Possible explanations
include be unreported recaptures, more fish relative to the amount of fishing effort, or shifts in dolphinfish movements.  The movements we have logged include a semi-annual Florida revisit produced by the Thomas Flyer fishing team; several short-term same day, next-day, week-long recoveries in the Keys and South Florida region produced by Killin' Time II and Irish Wake; and an 8-day satellite tag movement into the Mona Passage from off La Parguera produced by the Yadimar fishing team.  As we shift into the second half of the year, our focus shifts to gathering late-summer and fall movements along the U.S. East Coast as well as increasing data collection in the Mid-Atlantic Bight, Panama, and Puerto Rico.  If you need tags please request at kit at dolphintagging.com/tags
Get your Summer Performance Gear!
DRP Performance Fishing Shirts and Gear
A great way to support our tagging program is to buy a program t-shirt or hat.  We have a variety of styles and options in stock and your purchase allows you to represent the world’s largest fishermen-driven tagging program to quantify the movements and life history traits of dolphin in the wild and goes to expand the Dolphinfish Research Program (DRP)Click here to shop. 
Support the DRP in 2021
We would like to thank the Golden Hook Fishing Club based in St. Croix for being the most recent donor to the Beyond Our Shores Foundation, the  501(c)(3) founded to support and expand the DRP.  Donate today to help advance the expansion of the DRP, a leader in the conservation and research of dolphin, by helping to purchase more tags to distribute to anglers, support our education programs, and improve fisheries data collection among recreational, for-hire, and small-scale commercial fishermen.  Click here to donate today.
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