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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-254

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Report to industry on the Alaska sablefish tag program, 1972-2012


The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Alaska Sablefish Tag Program has released over 360,000 tagged sablefish in Alaska waters since 1972, and over 33,500 of those fish have been recovered by members of the fishing industry. Data from the releases and recoveries are maintained in the Sablefish Tag Database. These data have been used to examine movement patterns, evaluate areal apportionment strategies of annual catch quota, validate ageing methods, and to examine growth.

Although a small reward (hat) is offered for return of the tags to NMFS, many people are more interested in the brief letter which accompanies the reward and describes the history of the fish in terms of movement and growth. This demonstrates the support and interest from industry for the tagging program.

This report summarizes release and recovery data within the tag database and describes the results of studies utilizing these tag data by NMFS and others on sablefish age, growth, and migration. Hopefully it will prove both interesting and informative for those who have contributed the largest share of the data: individual members of the fishing industry.

View Online  (.pdf, 7.55 MB).

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