Advances in Fish Tagging and Marking Technology

Through the Looking Glass: Reflections on the Success of Large-Scale Archival Tagging Programs

David Righton and Julian Metcalfe


Abstract.—Large-scale fish tagging programs are becoming more popular as fishery managers realize the importance of including spatial structure in assessment and management models. Two recent EU-funded projects on plaice and cod have shown how information from electronic tags can be used to gain new insights and add value to historic tagging data. Highlights have been the demonstration of unexpected population sub-structuring in plaice, and the realization that cod behavior is very variable in response to regional environments. Success does not come without planning and management of staff, of data, and of expectations. We share our experiences from the last 10 years of electronic tagging to provide an up-to-date analysis of what makes a good tagging program, and how to get the most from it.