After releasing a bonefish and watching it swim away across the flat, do you ever ask yourself “I wonder where that fish came from?” In the short term, there’s a good chance the bonefish spent most of its life nearby – tag-recapture research shows that bonefish have a pretty small home range, except for seasonal migrations to spawning locations. But in the longer term, we don’t yet know the answer to that question.
In 2014, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is launched a three-year Bonefish Genetics Program in collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, University of Massachusetts, Cape Eleuthera Institute, and Fisheries Conservation Foundation. The goal of this program is to analyze the genetic population structure of bonefish throughout the Caribbean and Western Atlantic to determine the extent that bonefish populations in different locations are related. This will help us to decide how much we have to focus on a regional vs local conservation strategy.
In this video, BTT’s Justin Lewis shows you how easy it is to take a fin clip sample from a bonefish for Bonefish and Tarpon Trust’s Bonefish Genetics Program. The process limits air exposure and is harmless to the fish. In fact, the section of clipped fin grows back in about 2 weeks.
If you want to help BTT collect bonefish fin clips, email email@example.com and we will send you a sampling kit.