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A review of the Cooperative Hawaiian Bottomfish Tagging Program of the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and the Pacific Islands Fisheries Group
  • Published Date:
    2015
Filetype[PDF - 1.59 MB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (U.S.)
  • Series:
    Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center administrative report H ; 15-05
  • Document Type:
  • Description:
    The Pacific Islands Fishing Group (PIFG) was awarded a NOAA contract for cooperative research on Hawaii bottomfish in 2007. One of the goals of the cooperative research program with the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center was to tag bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands. The purpose of this report is to review the tagging program and the data collected to date to determine if the program is meeting the goal of providing sufficient information for life history parameter estimates (growth, mortality, and movement) needed to support single-species stock assessments of the Deep 7 Hawaii bottomfish. Examination of the provided tagging datasheets revealed substantial issues with illegibility, missing data fields, and later editing (sometimes erroneously) of datasheets by unknown persons. This combination of issues compromised some of the recapture information which resulted in lower sample sizes available for life history parameter estimation. Tagging (n = 8427) generally occurred across the full size range of each species. Recapture rates were exceptionally low; the opakapaka (Pristipomoides filamentosus) recapture rate was 2.5% (n = 113), the ehu (Etelis marshi) recapture rate was 0.8% (n = 1) and no recaptures were reported for the other Deep 7 bottomfish species tagged. Recapture information indicated that opakapaka do not exhibit regular large-scale horizontal movements, with only two fish recaptured more than 30 km from location of release. Opakapaka growth rates estimated using the tag/recapture information generally agree with those estimated using age information derived from hard parts; however, the size range of recaptured fish was extremely limited. Therefore, the growth and movement estimates from this study should be used with extreme caution because they are not representative of the entire population. Mortality estimates were not possible given the extremely low level of recaptures. Currently, the PIFG/PIFSC cooperative tagging program is not meeting the goal of providing information for life history estimates primarily due to the paucity and limited size range of recaptures. If the program were to continue it is recommended that the issues with the data collection be addressed, a well-conceived prioritization of species for tagging be developed, and reasons for the low recapture rates be investigated thoroughly, especially as related to tagging mortality. [doi:10.7289/V59W0CF7 (http://dx.doi.org/10.7289/V59W0CF7)]

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