Southern Boating

Dolphinfish Tagging in the Caribbean

Participate in the Caribbean Dolphinfish Tagging Initiative

The Dolphinfish Research Program (DRP) is running the latest study of Dolphinfish, sometimes known as Mahi-Mahi. DRP is the largest private research program aimed specifically at better understanding the movements, population dynamics and life history of dolphin fish around the world. They will be doing so with a dolphinfish tagging initiative.

In the U.S. waters of the Caribbean Sea, namely Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the program has been active since 2008 and deployed seven satellites and nine acoustic tags and has had 150 participants tag and release 742 dolphinfish. Since 2016, twenty vessels have contributed detailed catch information from more than 697 offshore fishing trips.

“The northeast Caribbean Sea is a key location to continue to expand the DRP to further describe local movements and regional connectivity with not only northern Caribbean Islands and the United States, but within the Caribbean Sea as a whole, which is largely unknown,” says Wessley Merten, Ph.D., director and president of the DRP, based in Rockville, MD.

Anglers who catch dolphinfish in U.S. Caribbean waters can participate in the dolphinfish tagging initiative. Send a photo and a brief description to Merten at wess@beyondourshores.org, on Facebook @tagdolphinfish or Twitter @dolphintagging. He and his team will incorporate the report into the DRP’s bi-monthly posts. Anglers who want to tag and release small dolphin can also request a tagging kit by emailing Merten or calling (787) 436-8300.

dolphintagging.com

By Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating May 2018

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