Bonefish &Tarpon Trust acoustic tagging reports 400-mile travel of tarpon

There is more need now more than ever to track the whereabouts of the different types of creatures in the seas and oceans. The method used in tracking is the installation of tracking chips in the creature’s body so that scientists and conservationists can follow the tag wherever it goes. The information collected is diverse, and it includes reproductive times and locations, lifestyle, and the feeding habits.

Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, BTT, is an organization that seeks to conserve and restore tarpon and bonefish. The organization aims to accomplish the mission through research, stewardship, advocacy, and working with fisheries and habitats by offering education and support.

Recently, a tarpon traveled 400 miles from Lower Florida Keys to Port Orange, Florida in a month. The discovery gave more insight into the lives of tarpons and their location in different stages of life. Acoustic tagging has proven useful and will be of more use than the satellite tracking system used earlier. The satellite tracking was only limited to tagging fish 80 pounds or larger.

The specific tarpon, named Helios, is still years away from being sexually mature, but BTT are excited about the success of their acoustic tagging program. The research being sponsored by the Maverick boat crew seeks to unlock the mysterious movement and use of habitats by tarpons. The goals of the research were to gain information and help ensure the conservation of the highly valuable tarpon fishing industry.

There is a vast network of thousands of acoustic receivers that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the entire stretch of the Southeastern US coastline. More than 50 tarpons have tags and are part of a five-year study. Maverick is a longtime partner of BTT and is the signature sponsor of the acoustic tagging of tarpon.

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