In 2001 an angler participating in the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) volunteer tagging program placed a tag in a small yellowfin tuna while fishing off of Cat Island in the Bahamas.
Nine years later, the tag was returned. The tag was sent in by the National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries in Shizuoka, Japan.
At the time the tuna was tagged, the fish weighed just 15 pounds. When it was recovered nine years later off the west coast of Africa, the fish weighed 189 pounds. That’s nearly 4,000 miles away from the Bahamas.
“What makes this recovery exciting,” said Robert Wiggers, a DNR fisheries biologist who administers the tagging program, “is that 151 yellowfin have been tagged and released by volunteers, but none have been recovered until now.”
For more information on South Carolina’s game fish tagging efforts, visit www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/tagfish/tagfish.html.