Tagged tuna recaptured after 11 years

January 8th, 2012| No Comments

Yellowfin tuna recaptured after 11 years

This is the sort of story that just has you scratching your head in wonder: a yellowfin tuna was recently recaptured off the west coast of Africa 11 years after it was first caught.

The fish was originally tagged by a volunteer angler taking part in an S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Marine Resources Division program in April 2001, off Cat Island in the Bahamas. At that time, the yellowfin was a juvenile of just under 15lbs – fast forward 11 years and 4,000 miles, and the fish weighed in at an impressive 68 inches with an approximate weight of 189 pounds…

“What makes this recovery exciting,” according to Robert Wiggers, a DNR fisheries biologist, “is that 151 yellowfin have been tagged and released by volunteers, but none have been recovered until now. This fish was at large for nine years, packed on about 174 pounds and was recaptured close to 4,000 miles from where it was initially tagged.”

It’s almost too difficult to comprehend – what are the odds against recapture like that? And how unlucky must that yellow have felt when he felt the hook penetrate his jaw, again, all those years later? Let’s just hope his temporary inconvenience will go some way towards helping his fellow species in the future.

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