U.K. Sea Fishing FAQ - Pysgota Mor y Deyrnas Gyfunol
UK Sea Fishing Conservation
4.6.1 Are There Any Tagging Schemes for UK Sea Fish?
The Central Fisheries Board in Ireland are tagging many species,
including all species of skate, rays, sharks and tope.
The Natural History Department of Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum have
been involved in tagging Common Skate and Tope since1974. Currently
this scheme is looking for more sponsors to enable the project to
If you feel you can help, contact Richard Sutcliffe, Curator,
Department of Science, Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove, Glasgow G3
These tagging programmes have shown some interesting results.
90% of all recaptured Common Skate were retaken within 35 miles of
the original release site, even after periods at liberty of up to 12
One Common Skate tagged in 1985 to the west of the Isle of Mull, was
recaptured in 1990 900km away off the south west coast of Norway.
Tope tagged off the west coast of Scotland have been recaptured as
far away as Lisbon (1800 km, 62 days later), Canary Islands (3000km,
268 days later), and off Algeria (3200km, 9 years later).
This information is from the paper "Common Skate & Tope - First
Results of a tagging study carried out off the west coast of Scotland"
by William Little - 1993.
A tagging project on Thornback rays started in 1995 and continuing
this year is in operation in the Irish Sea. Thornback rays of all
sizes were tagged and released at two sites in each of the following
areas: Liverpool Bay, Cardigan Bay, the Bristol Channel and on the
East Irish Coast. Pertersen Disc Tags and Data Storage Tags supplied
by MAFF were used for these experiments. The tags are returned by
fishermen to MAFF offices or local fishery officers for data
collection. Information on this project can be obtained from Nick
Dulvy at University of East Anglia, MAFF Lowestoft, Natasha Bunn at
Aberystwyth University or Bill Cook at North Western and North Wales
Sea Fisheries Committee.
Many thanks to Leasa Whone at the North Western and North Wales Sea
Fisheries Committee for this information.
Other tagging programmes for species such as Bass and Turbot have also
4.6.2 What Do Tags Look Like?
Several different types of tags have been used over the years.
Most tags are plastic and in a bright colour to be obvious to the eye,
although weed and barnacles may disguise old tags.
Cattle tags have been used to tag tope (dorsal fin) and skate (on the
wings), but their use is declining due to their inability to expand as
the fish grows, and they can become heavily encrusted.
Petersen tags (two red/yellow coloured disks about 2cm in diameter
joined by a stainless steel wire) are used by the C.F.B. in Ireland
for tagging skate.
Dart tags (a plastic tube, with a barb at one end to hold it in the
fish) are now being used to tag fish like tope and common skate. The
tag is usually inserted near the base of the dorsal fin.
Fish like bass may be tagged with a small tube tag attached to the
dorsal fin by thin wire.
4.6.3 What Should I Do If I Catch a Tagged Fish?
If possible DO NOT KILL THE FISH, DO NOT REMOVE THE TAG.
Measure the length and weight of the fish, record the tag number, date
and place of capture. The tag should state the body who are collating
the research data, most probally a university or fisheries office.
Then RETURN THE FISH. If you cannot record all of this data, then any
information you can provide is better than none.
SEND THE DATA ON THE CAPTURE TO THE RELEVANT ORGANISATION - they
should be identified on the tag.
Some tags on commercial species require that the actual tag is
returned, as it is assumed that the fish will be caught commercially
and then sold at market. A small reward may be given for the return of
Jun 9 1998, 12:00 am
U.K. Sea Fishing FAQ - Pysgota Mor y Deyrnas Gyfunol - Compiled by : Colin Albert
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