SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 11, April 2016 - Page 89

Anglers and get a certificate of tagging OR recapture mailed to them with their name and species congratulating their catch. .

Exactly what I was looking for. I emailed them, expressed interest and noticed not many were tagging on the gulf coast of Florida. Our fishery is diverse, great opportunity to tag the fish my clients release. I quickly heard back from one of their dedicated science staff, Travis Moore. Within a week I was on the water tagging with clients. Grouper were some of our first tagged. When recaptured scientists can assess their growth rate. This is what determines fishing regulations and bag limits on certain species. Fish with slow growth and reproduction rates are highly susceptible to population decline due to over fishing. They also use this data to determine migration patterns. To date we have tagged sharks, amberjack and grouper.

Tagging captains take great care of their catches. Larger fish such as shark, grouper and bill fish are kept in the water next to the boat to prevent stress. Smaller fish are brought aboard and quickly tagged, measured and released. Our vessel is equipped with a "release well" A live well with extra pumps to provide oxygen rich water to revive a tired fish. Its exciting to release a fish you have caught, even more to see where your catch has traveled. A rewarding experience for any catch and release fishermen. We believe the more data collected, the better these fish can be protected for future generations. If you find yourself in Boca Grande, Florida and want to get involved, spend a day on the water with us.