Bluefin tuna tagging helps sustainable fisheries

Tuna tagging Scientists from DTU Aqua and a tagging expert from Spain applying a data storage tag to a bluefin tuna in the Skagerrak. Image courtesy of Lars Norman Hestbæk, WWF Denmark

Bluefin tuna have been tagged in Danish and Swedish waters for the first time to help develop sustainable fisheries.

The advanced data storage tags will be used to help scientists describe the migration and distribution of bluefin tuna and their geographic origin, as well as develop and support sustainable fisheries for bluefin tuna in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

The fish have recently returned to Skagerrak and Kattegat after a 50-year absence and the project, coordinated by DTU Aqua in Denmark and supported by SLU Aqua in Sweden and WWF, marks the first time since the 1960s that these Scandinavian waters have been allowed to have a fishery for bluefin tuna.

ICCAT approval

The first stage of the project, which will continue until 21 September and has so far seen the tagging and release of five bluefin tuna in the Skagerrak, has permission from the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) for the catch, tag and release of 40 bluefin tunas in Denmark and Sweden.

The data collected by the tags will be available for analysis in approximately one year.

The tagged tunas are estimated to be approximately 130-285kg, making them some of the largest predatory fish in waters in Denmark and Sweden.

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