Billfish are not the only fish we work on in tag & release program. We have been working the Large Pelagic’s Research Center Tag-a-Tiny Program for years now and it has given us great insight on the movements of bluefin tuna. Recently we were lucky enough to get two transatlantic recapture reports of bluefin.
The first of two bluefins was originally tagged off Cape Cod in Massachusetts on August 16, 2012 aboard the Tammy Rose by angler Paul Ferrucci and Capt. Eric Stewart. 1443 days later, it was recaptured in the Bay of Biscay off France on July 29th, 2016! During that time, it grew over 26 inches and traveled over 3000 miles! We thank ICCAT, Investigación Marina in Spain and Igor Arregui Alcorta for reporting this to us.
The second bluefin tuna recapture was off Malta! Capt. Steve Morely originally tagged this fish of Chatham, Massachusetts aboard Chumtini. Over 1800 days later, it was captured in the Balearic Islands (3500 miles later) and brought to an open ocean pen in Malta. When it was harvested just a couple days ago, this bluefin grew over 50 inches in that time and weighed about 400 lbs dressed. We thank ICCAT observer Luigi Pizzo for reporting this to us.
Pretty amazing migrations, and even more amazing considering that until recently many people did not realize that bluefin did not travel those distances and had to be separate stocks.