FWC seeks continued angler participation for tarpon study
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Media contact: Carli Segelson, 727-896-8626
Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote
Marine Laboratory ask anglers to gather valuable information for
the Tarpon Genetic Recapture Study. Participating anglers collect
DNA samples from any tarpon of any size. These samples help
biologists gain insight into tarpon movement and distribution.
Biologists use DNA samples to identify the tarpon's genetic
"fingerprint." The fingerprints provide a unique and natural tag
for each individual fish. Scientists compare new tarpon DNA samples
with cataloged samples to determine if someone else caught and
sampled that tarpon previously. Biologists refer to these fish as
In 2010, anglers provided biologists with more than 3,100 tarpon
DNA samples. With more samples to be processed, biologists have
documented 71 recaptured tarpon since the study began in 2005.
Current data indicates that approximately one out of every 100
sampled tarpon is a recaptured fish.
Angler involvement has increased significantly each year of the
study. Biologists hope that more anglers will join the effort,
providing even more data for the study. So far in 2011, anglers
have provided hundreds of samples, bringing the total number to
just over 9,000. Anglers throughout Florida submitted samples from
tarpon ranging in length from 5 to 96 inches.
Anglers who would like to assist the study may obtain a free,
easy-to-use tarpon DNA sampling kit by emailing TarponGenetics@MyFWC.com
or by calling 800-367-4461.
Participating anglers receive an annual newsletter with updates
on the study. As it becomes available, anglers also receive
additional information about recaptured tarpon. Anglers who submit
a tarpon DNA sample to this study in 2011 will be entered into
random, bi-monthly drawings for various prizes.
For more information on the Tarpon
Genetic Recapture Study, visit MyFWC.com/Research and click