Tagging Atlantic bluefin tuna from a farming cage: An attempt to reduce handling times for large scale deployments

Type Article
Date 2019-03
Language English
Author(s) Rouyer Tristan1, Bonhommeau SylvainORCID2, Giordano Nicolas3, Ellul Saviour4, Ellul Giovanni4, Deguara Simeon5, Wendling Bertrand6, Belhaj Mohamed Moez7, Kerzerho Vincent7, Bernard Serge7
Affiliation(s) 1 : MARBEC Univ Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, IFREMER, Sete, France.
2 : IFREMER DOI, Rue Jean Bertho, F-97822 Le Port, La Reunion, France.
3 : SARL SSF, Armement St Sophie Francois II & III, 15 Quai Alger, F-34200 Sete, France.
4 : MFF Ltd, Hangar, Triq It Trunciera, Marsaxlokk 1522, MXK, Malta.
5 : AquaBioTech Grp, Cent Complex Naggar St Targa Gap, Mosta 1761, MST, Malta.
6 : SATHOAN, 28 Promenade JB Marty, F-34200 Sete, France.
7 : LIRMM, 161 Rue Ada, F-34095 Montpellier, France.
Source Fisheries Research (0165-7836) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2019-03 , Vol. 211 , P. 27-31
DOI 10.1016/j.fishres.2018.10.025
WOS© Times Cited 5
Keyword(s) Large Atlantic bluefin tuna, Electronic tagging, Release, Farming

Our knowledge on the biology and ecology of marine species have improved greatly through the use of archival tags by enabling the collection on information from individual in the wild. This is specifically true for large pelagic species such as the Atlantic Bluefin tuna (ABFT, Thunnus thynnus) where, for the first time, it has been possible to confirm through fisheries-independent data, migration patterns, reproductive and feeding behaviours and habitat use. However, large-scale tagging experiments that would enable researchers to tackle group behaviour are difficult to set up. On the one hand, the impact of the actual tagging operation should be as minimal as possible to avoid any change in behaviour of the fish which could influence tag data analyses. On the other hand, large scale tagging experiments require handling a large number of animals in a relatively short period of time. In the present manuscript, a methodology for tagging several large ABFT with satellite tags was tested with ABFT caught from a cage of a Maltese farm. The total time of the operation, from the moment fish were caught by handline to release back to the sea lasted an average of 10 min for the 3 fish tagged. The handling of the fish on the deck lasted less than 2 min. This methodology proved successful at tagging several large (158–182 cm) fishes in a very short time, while ensuring the best conditions for the fish during tagging and subsequent release. This procedure requires substantial logistical preparation and an experienced crew team but, by reducing the time required for the operation, opens up the possibility of large scale tagging activities of large fish held in cages or caught by purse seiners.

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Rouyer Tristan, Bonhommeau Sylvain, Giordano Nicolas, Ellul Saviour, Ellul Giovanni, Deguara Simeon, Wendling Bertrand, Belhaj Mohamed Moez, Kerzerho Vincent, Bernard Serge (2019). Tagging Atlantic bluefin tuna from a farming cage: An attempt to reduce handling times for large scale deployments. Fisheries Research, 211, 27-31. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2018.10.025 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00466/57818/