Dominican Republic Recoveries / Wahoo Tagging Campaign Begins
Dominican Republic Recoveries / Wahoo Tagging Campaign Begins
Made Possible by a Grant from the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

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New Recoveries off the Dominican Republic

DR October Recoveries
October conventional dolphinfish recoveries reported at fish aggregating devices along the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Black Numbers = Days at Liberty; Stars = Recovery Sites; Yellow Ovals = Tagging Sites
Since 2008, our tagging program has documented dozens of dolphin movements for fish tagged within the U.S. Caribbean Sea as well as  those tagged along the U.S. East Coast that have been recovered in the northeastern Caribbean Sea (click here to read about that work).  This past month, thanks to the effort of angler Jeffrey Liederman and the Sandman fishing team, we received our first four recoveries for dolphin tagged and released within Dominican Republic (DR) waters, which provided the first glimpse at in-country movements and dolphin fishery dynamics along this portion of the Greater Antilles.  When averaged, these four recoveries together indicate a swift rate of 18.6 miles per day toward the northwest.  This is much faster than the combined movement rate for fish recovered along the north coast of Puerto Rico (PR), which equates to less than 5 miles per day. One factor that could be responsible for this
Angler Jeffrey Liederman  showcases one of the 69 dolphin he has tagged aboard Sandman off the Dominican Republic since the last week of September. Pic: Sandman
 difference is along the north coast of PR there are five major rivers that pour into the tropical Atlantic, whereas there are only two along the north coast of DR, both of which are tucked into large bays which may reduce the potential flotsum and local variation in currents that may influence the movements of dolphin offshore.  Another major difference between the dolphin fishery along the north coast of PR versus DR is the abundance of fish aggregating devices (FADs) off the coast of DR.  Each dolphin recovery off DR this past month was both tagged and recaptured at a moored fish aggregating device.  The existence of likely hundreds, if
Conventional mark and recovery movements for dolphinfish off the north coasts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Black Arrows - 2021 Movements / Grey Arrows 2008-2020 Movements
not thousands, of these structures along the north coast of DR, could be the reason why Sandman's recovery rate is an astonishing 6.67%, higher than even Killin' Time II's and WamJam's historically high recapture rates observed during June and July in the Florida Keys in
Dolphin recoveries reported since our September newsletter.
past years.  A major difference between these recoveries is that all recoveries within the Keys are reported by recreational or charter fishermen while the fish reported this past month off DR were all small-scale artisanal anglers.  Recorded commercial landings for the
Entire time-series of dolphinfish landings from the Food and Agricultural Organization's global capture production dataset for the Dominican Republic. 
Dominican Republic have been highly variable since 1967, with abnormally high landings recorded in 2007 (figure above).  Since 2014, however, a steady rise in commercial landings has put the DR back to one of the top landing commercial countries in the region, higher than U.S. Atlantic commercial landings, and the fact that four individual artisanal anglers reported recoveries over the first two weeks of October at four different FADs highlights the need for increased data collection on this species and the FAD fishery within the DR to ensure a sustainable dolphinfish fishery for both the country and the region.             
Wahoo Tagging Campaign Begins!
A 46" (~28 pound) wahoo equipped with a Microwave Telemetry    geolocating satellite tag. Photo: W. Merten
On Thursday, October 14th, 2021, we began an effort to elucidate the movements and life history patterns of wahoo.  Working aboard Danger with Captains Dan Hack and Jesus 'Milo' Duran and angler Emmanuel Markham, we successfully deployed a geolocating
Passing the wahoo to be revived in the water.
satellite tag on a 28 pound wahoo.  The tag is set to remain with the fish for 180 days.  This marks the first PSAT deployment on a wahoo in Puerto Rico waters as well as throughout the Caribbean Basin.  It also signifies the beginning of our study of their fall movements along the west coast of the island and northeast portion of the Caribbean Sea.  This work will include the deployment of acoustic tags on wahoo caught near fish aggregating devices as well as the use of a public conventional tagging.  This past week we sent our first conventional wahoo tagging kit to Captain Stuart Doley in Belize, who had contacted us to get involved in this new research initiative.  If you are interested in tagging and releasing small wahoo to help our program compile scientific data on the species, please request a kit by clicking here.  This work is supported by Puerto Rico's Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and the USFWS Sportfish Restoration Program.
New DRP YETI Tumblers!
Support Mahi and Wahoo Research. 
With over 30,000 dolphinfish tagged since 2002 and our new wahoo tagging campaign to gather data on an iconic yet poorly understood pelagic fish and fishery, our research program has a proven track record in public engagement in compiling scientific data and producing results.  A great way to support the work we do is to purchase items in our online store including our new DRP YETI 20-ounce tumblers.  Get yours today while supplies last!  Click here to shop and support our work. 
Fall Fundraising Campaign Begins!
We would like to thank the 179 individuals and fishing industry entities and partners for their support of our work in 2021.  With two months remaining in 2021, our 501(c)(3), the Beyond Our Shores Foundation (BOSF), created to support and expand the DRP, is beginning our work to raise funds for our 2022 effort.  Below are ways you can help support our work in 2022:
  • Shop in our online store
  • Buy a kit as a gift for the Holidays or stocking stuffer!
  • Make a tax-deductible donation to support program operations
  • Make a tax-deductible donation to our DRP Investment Fund. Please contact us for details.   
  • Select Beyond Our Shores, Inc., as your preferred charitable organization to receive contributions from Amazon Smile  when you shop on Amazon.  
Click here to support our work and thank you!    
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Platinum Sponsor

Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

Gold Sponsors

Perry and Neblett, P.A.
SiriusXM Marine
Sport Fish Restoration

Silver Sponsors

Sea Grant Puerto Rico
Bird of Prey Fishing Tackle
Central Florida Offshore Anglers

Bronze Sponsors

2021 Donors

Year-End Award  Sponsors


Past Newsletters

DRP August Newsletter
DRP July Newsletter
DRP June Newsletter

2021 Tag Stats

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