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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF)

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Barra Classic Barramundi Tagging

[ 01/06/2012 ]

Competitors in the 31st Northern Territory Barra Classic, held in May on the Daly River, weren’t just trying to catch and release the most fish in the competition; they helped Department of Resources (DoR) fisheries researchers tag almost 1500 fish during the competition.

The tagging program has been run by the DoR and the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT) for 15 years. Competitors in the Classic were armed and ready with tags supplied by the DoR for the event, which is a catch, tag and release fishing tournament.

During this year’s competition DoR Fisheries staff assisted competitors with correct barramundi handling, tagging and release techniques, with over 1464 fish tagged.

Dr Thor Saunders, Principal Research Scientist with the DoR says monitoring of our fisheries is important to ensure the sustainable management of the Territory’s fish stocks.

“The tagging program is a part of our on-going monitoring of the Daly River system.

“Programs such as this allow us to monitor harvest rates, growth and movement of fish which gives us information on the health of the barramundi population in the Daly River.

“Results from previous years tagging have shown that barramundi grow quickly, tend to remain in the same area they were tagged and are harvested in low numbers.

“In fact, over the duration of this study the annual harvest rate has been less than 10% of the total stock by recreational, commercial and indigenous fishers.

“Given that barramundi are an extremely productive species this low harvest rate is having little impact on the population” Dr Saunders said.

Researchers also put an additional tag in barramundi tagged by competitors to assess rates of tag loss by the fish.
Tagging programs and fisheries research conducted by the NT Government play an important part in ensuring the Territory maintains its reputation as a world class fishing destination.

If you catch a tagged barramundi please email fisheries@nt.gov.au or contact AFANT with the tag number, where and when you caught it, along with its length. A contact phone number, 1800 456 410, is printed on the tag.
A fishing lure will be offered as a reward for each tag returned.

For further information about this press release please contact Bill Whitington, Media Officer,
Executive and Communications Services. Phone (08) 8999 2013. Mobile 0409 640 859