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Appeal for tagged fish

Red hind

Commercial and recreational fishermen who catch tagged red hind or black grouper could be in line for a cash windfall as part of a Government project to monitor the species.

Marine Resources officers are tagging the two species to better understand their movements around the Bermuda Platform, particularly at spawning aggregation sites.

All tags taken from examined fish will be entered into a draw. A $500 Masters gift certificate will be awarded on each of the following draw dates: June 1, 2017, December 1, 2017, June 1, 2018 and December 1, 2018.

The information gathered will help Government to make informed decisions about the management of the two species.

Fishermen should make a note of the catch location and keep the fish on ice until it has been examined by a Marine Resources officer. The fishermen can then keep the fish after it is examined.

The fish have been tagged just under the dorsal fin on both sides with thin, plastic spaghetti tags in a variety of colours.

Black acoustic tags that transmit a signal detectable by underwater receivers have also been implanted in the abdomens of a number of the externally tagged fish. Fishermen are therefore asked to be on the lookout for those tags also.

A Government statement released this afternoon said: “Data obtained from acoustic receivers has revealed that black grouper has a longer aggregation period than the red hind, with fish present at the sites until November.

“Fishermen are therefore reminded that although most of the seasonally protected areas are now open to fishing, sections around the black grouper aggregations are closed for an extended period through 29 November.”

Anyone who catches a tagged red hind or black grouper should contact the Marine Resources Section on 293-5600 or fisheries@gov.bm