How Long Does It Take To Grow A Giant?


I’m a big fan of fish-tagging programs. It sometimes seems like a fishery management is based on anecdotal evidence, rather than producing real data to guide these decisions. As an angler with children, I want to promote a sustainable resource that ensures that the sport endures for my kids and generations to come. Tagging programs produce a lot of data about movement, growth rates, and numerous other variables that provide a foundation for better management of the resource.

One species that has generated a lot of discussion is the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. This article documents a bluefin tuna that was tagged 16 years ago as part of a NOAA tagging program. Find out how big it has grown in that time.

BFTHere is an amazing story about the recapture of a bluefin tuna that has been at large for sixteen years. The size difference is unbelievable in that time. Anglers can partcipate in NOAA’s Cooperative Tagging Center’s research by getting a tagging kit and doing your part to tag and release many species of fish. These tags give us the opportunity to peek into the world of the fish that we love.

Al Anderson, a charter boat captain out of Point Judith, Rhode Island, participates in the NOAA Fisheries Cooperative Tagging Program, which provides free tags to fishermen so they can contribute to our scientific understanding of fish. One of the fish he tagged, a bluefin tuna, was recently recaptured after 16 years. In the history of the program, only two recaptured fish had been at liberty so long.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Photos: NOAA (top), BD Outdoors (above)

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Joe Sarmiento
Joe is an avid saltwater angler. He grew up in Washington State on the south end of Puget Sound where he first started fishing as a boy catching perch, flounder, rockfish, and occasionally salmon. Today, Joe lives in Southern California where he fishes off beaches and jetties, kayaks, and sportfishing boats. Joe writes about his saltwater adventures in the SoCal Salty blog, and for Western Outdoor News.