Courtesy of Cranston Herald By Captain Dave Monti
Tuna gains 593 pounds, travels 3,865 miles before recapture
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, Florida has been tagging fish for years with the help of fishermen and scientists throughout the world.
A 9-pound bluefin tuna caught, tagged and released by Capt. Al Anderson of Narragansett in 2004 at the Mudhole (about 17 miles east/southeast of Pt. Judith) was recaptured recently in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Sardinia, weighing in at 602 pounds.
Anderson, who has tagged more bluefin tuna than anyone else in the world, said, “This was the 13th bluefin tuna I caught, tagged and released. The tagging of fish caught by fishermen helps scientists determine their migratory pattern, define their populations and if possible, estimate their growth rates, population sizes and mortality rate.”
Tagging programs also help scientists determine the need for conservation programs, as well as how to plan for conservation programs.
“During the 11-year time frame from point of tagging to point of recapture, this bluefin tuna traveled 3,865 miles,” said Anderson.