What do different coloured tags on fish in the Northern Territory mean?
A red-tagged barra is part of Million Dollar Fish. If you’ve registered for Season 9 and snag one of these, chances are you’ve won $10,000 or a cool mill.
But if you’re out fishing and reel in a barra with a green or yellow tag, it’s part of a community-based research program by the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT) in collaboration with Fisheries NT.
AFANT’s CEO David Ciaravolo said it’s important for anglers to know what the different coloured tags mean. He also explained why it’s important to report your catch if it’s sporting a yellow or green tag.
“Some barramundi are tagged for research purposes,” he said. “These tags are yellow or green and are under the dorsal spines near the shoulder. Each tag has an individual tag number and a phone number so you can report the tagged fish.
“Whether you keep a yellow or green tagged fish is up to you, as long as it is legal size, and within your possession limit.
“If you do release the fish, you should leave the tag intact so it will continue to provide information every time that fish is caught.
“Although you won’t win any money by catching a green- or yellow-tagged barra, you will get a free fishing lure if you report the catch to us. You’ll also get a certificate with information about how far the fish has travelled and how much it has grown.”
Mr Ciaravolo said every time an angler reports a green- or yellow-tagged barra, AFANT gains more knowledge about the growth and movement of the fish.
“The information collected through fish tagging contributes to the understanding of fish stocks, size, and age structures. It also informs us about trends in catch and release rates,” he said.
“For some catchments, scientists estimate the proportion of barra caught each year based on the tagging data reported by recreational fishers.
“The data may also be fed into periodic barramundi stock assessments. So it’s vital to help keep stocks healthy and secure the future of recreational fishing.”
Caught a tagged fish? Now you know what different coloured tags mean, visit http://afant.com.au/rec-fisher-research/report-a-tagged-fish/ and be part of sustainable fishery management.