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    Thursday, November 15, 2018-10:37:56P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Division of Fish and Wildlife asks community’s help to find 500 tagged fish

THE Division of Fish and Wildlife is studying the movement of fish in the Saipan lagoon and needs the community’s help to catch close to 500 emperor fish that DFW earlier tagged. 

DFW fishery supervisor Michael Tenorio said the program was launched last year and so far, only two of the fish have been recovered.

“We want to know where they go, and where the specific areas are they stay,” he added.

For those who catch a tagged fish, Tenorio asks them to call the number indicated on the pink tag: DFW office, 664-6044.

The information DFW needs includes date caught, general location where the fish was caught, length and weight of the fish and a photo of the tagged fish.

Tenorio said this information is useful in making management decisions. “The main point is to help us manage our resources. Any information you know about the specific species of fish that is being harvested is helpful.”

Tenorio said certain species tend to move in and outside the lagoon. “Instead of north to south, they move outside the reef. We don’t necessarily know if they move up and down.”

He said they will continue tagging the fish and try to work with fishermen to help them with the tagging process.

Tenorio said a tagged fish has a small pink numbered tag that can be found on the upper side of the fish near the rear of the top fin.

“Tags have ‘CNMI DFW’ and a four-digit tag number written on one side. On the other side, the tags say ‘Reward 664-6044.’ This is the DFW Fisheries Section phone number.”

Tenorio said those who can provide the tag and basic information about fish size and location caught will receive a T-shirt as an incentive. “Fishermen will also be entered into a raffle for gift certificates. A member of the DFW staff will be able to meet you to collect data from the fish. The fish will be returned to you immediately.”

The fish, he added, does not have to be alive. “If they only have the tag because they already ate the fish, that’s okay too. They can just bring the tag in, present it to us and tell us where they caught it and that is still useful information for us.”