In response to the CRPP’s Broad Agency
Announcement in the Spring of 2005, GMRI submitted a proposal
for a NRCTP ‘Year Four’. The key objectives were
to maintain the tagging infrastructure currently in place,
while also adding a historical data component to the scope
of work and extending GMRI’s current remit for tagging
data analysis, as recapture information continues to be received.
NOAA Fisheries (Northeast Region) has recognized
the need to “keep the lights on” for this project
by sustaining the tag reporting and rewarding infrastructure.
GMRI will continue to reward all tag returns and high-reward
tag returns with the incentives currently offered: a recapture
report in addition to the reporter’s choice of T-shirt,
hat or mug for all yellow and orange tags, or $100 for blue
During the Collaborative Mark-Recapture
workshop (October 2004) and at other Program update meetings,
it was recommended that historical cod tagging datasets be
preserved since they could prove useful in developing cod
movement projection models in the future. Thus, another key
aim of this proposal was to archive the smaller tagging datasets
for cod tagging studies undertaken in recent decades in the
Northeast Region. The benefits of collating past cod tagging
studies into one single database format have further been
recognized as highly desirable since the Northeast Fisheries
Science Center is now developing a regional, multispecies
tagging database, which will eventually house the cod tagging
GMRI received a new contract to run from
July 2006 through October 2007 and as such, is again in a
position to continue collecting and rewarding tag recaptures.
GMRI will ensure that these are accurately entered into the
online GIS-enabled database, making the data accessible to
the public online, through www.gmamapping.org/codmapping.htm.
GMRI’s specific deliverables for 2006/2007 include:
1) Develop historical
tagging databases which mirror the NRCTP’s structure,
in order that all major tagging datasets for cod in the
NE region are in one master database format for more efficient
2) Continue analysis,
ensuring that stock assessment data requirements are met
as much as the NRCTP data can provide.
3) Continue to
disseminate findings to industry and other stakeholders
with an emphasis on a results-oriented, glossy
mass-mailing and an industry/science workshop.
GMRI continues to place high value on providing
fishermen and other stakeholders with regular updates on cod
tagging information and findings. The next mailing you receive
will be a lengthier document which provides greater detail
on the findings from the NRCTP data. You can expect to receive
this in the winter of 2007-8.
Tagging started in March 2003. The final
tagging trip took place in July 2005 and with all the tag
release data now entered, we have tagged and released over
114,000 Atlantic cod throughout the Gulf of Maine, in the
Bay of Fundy, on George’s Bank and in waters around
Cape Cod. We have met and exceeded our goal of 100,000 tagged
We have received recapture information
from over 5,600 tagged cod; the overall tag return rate is currently
at ~4.3%. This is great news and we hope to continue to improve
our tag returns with time.
In May 2004, a high-reward tagging study was
initiated as part of the Northeast Regional Cod Tagging Program.
(regular) and blue
(high-reward) T-bar anchor tags were inserted into
cod between May 2004 and July 2005. Findings from high-reward
tags will enable us to calibrate the information returned from
regular tags and estimate a reporting rate.
In October 2004, the Gulf of Maine
Research Institute coordinated a regional mark-recapture workshop
during which eight different Northeast regional tagging programs
were presented and reviewed. The proceedings
from this workshop are available for downloading and should
be of considerable value to other current and future tagging
Since October 2004, 100% of the cod we release
have been double-tagged. This is an increase from the 10%
double-tagging rate originally undertaken and this is in direct
response to recommendations made at the mark-recapture workshop.
analysis of the data began, with a focus on the development
of analytical tools for these data. However, valuable information
has continued to be reported in ensuing months and these data
will continue to be incorporated into longer-term analyses.
The NRCTP's 3rd
Annual Meeting took place on the 13th and 14th December
2005; this two-day meeting was attended by Program Partners
and stakeholders and was a productive event.
To read more about the evolution of this
large-scale tagging Program, please view or download our Bi-monthly
updates, our Newsletters,
our meeting summaries
and our posters.
To read updates on
a local scale, you can visit the following web sites:
• Tagging by CCCHFA around
• Tagging by SMAST on Georges
• Tagging by the Island Institute,
in downeast Maine.
• Tagging by DMR around
Fippennies & Cashes Ledges, Jordan Basin and nearshore Maine.
• Tagging by DFO on Browns
Bank and in the Bay of Fundy.