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Methods

Over 100 commercial and recreational fishing vessels participated in the tagging program. Vessels were recruited throughout the region and used a variety of commercial and recreational gear types, e.g. trawl, rod and reel, longline, and lobster pots. Commercial fishing vessels were chartered for dedicated tagging trips, which ensured maximum survival of tagged fish. Hallprint T-bar anchor tags were used throughout the study, and fishermen and field technicians were trained to use a standardized tagging technique.


Left: FV Bigger ‘n’ Better (Island Institute), Right: FV Inheritance (SMAST)


Gear type, Left: otter trawl, Right: hook

The program also undertook a large outreach campaign that included mass-mailings, posters, press releases, information pamphlets, TV coverage, newsletters, incentives and rewards, use of high reward tags ($100), and a monthly lottery. This campaign contributed to the high return rate of nearly 6% of the tags released.