Tag Recovery and Rewards in the Atlantic Ocean

How to tell if a fish has an archival tag:


Archival tags are implanted in the body cavity of the tuna, and only the light sensor protrudes out of the body. However, archival-tagged bluefin also carry unique external conventional streamer tags with two-tone coloration to help fisherman recognize these fish. The external tags are placed about an inch off the dorsal midline on each side of the fish. On the white portion of the streamer tag it says "electronic tag inside cavity," and on the green side it says "Big $$$ reward".

Find an Archival Tag? Reward is $1000!

How to remove the tag and get your reward:


1. Report all archival-tagged bluefin tuna to your local fisheries agency:

In the West Atlantic, call 1-831-594-2071 OR  1-800-437-3936.

In the East Atlantic/Mediterranean, call ICCAT in Madrid, Spain, at 34-1-579-3352.

Additional instructions will be provided regarding where and how the tags should be mailed. Inquires can also be made to Dr. Barbara Block at bblock@stanford.edu 


2. To remove the archival tag make a carefully placed incision in the region around the tag.

Remove the silver or yellow archival tag (with light sensor attached) by hand. Wash the tag with water and keep it at room temperature. Cut off the streamer tags and keep the portion of the tags with writing or information. In addition to saving both the archival and streamer tags, data on location and date of recapture, fishing gear used, length, weight of fish, and your name and address are also important. 

Click here to download a pdf of the full archival tag reward poster.

How to tell if a fish has a pop-up satellite tag:


Pop-up tags are approximately 13.5 inches long and are darted into the fish on either side of the dorsal midline. If the tag has already released from the fish, the fish will still carry a conventional streamer tag stating that the fish once carried a pop-up tag. Even this streamer tag alone is of great scientific value and is eligible for a reward. It is also possible to find a post-release pop-up tag that has washed up on the beach or is floating at sea.

Find an Pop Up Tag? Reward is $1000!

How to remove the tag and get your reward:


1. Report all satellite-tagged bluefin tuna immediately to the NOAA Fisheries Service at 1-800-437-3936. Additional instructions will be provided regarding where and how the tags should be mailed.  In the east Atlantic, please call ICCAT at 34-1-579-3352 in Madrid, Spain.
2. Please remove the pop-up tag and the conventional streamer tag by cutting the monofilament and carefully stowing them. In addition to saving the pop-up and streamer tags, data on location and date of recapture, fishing gear used, length, weight of fish, and your name and address are also important.

3. Any questions, please contact bblock@stanford.edu

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