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The Game Fish Tagging Program originated 26 YEARS ago at the NSW Fisheries Research Institute.  The program involves the distribution of tags to recreational anglers belonging to clubs that are affiliated with the GFAA (Game Fishing Association of Australia) and ANSA (Australian National Sportfishing Association)  We also encourage all individual anglers who don't belong to a club to tag and release, to preserve our fish stocks.

The continuing success of the NSW Gamefish Tagging Programme depends upon the co-operation of the numerous participating recreational anglers and club officials throughout Australia.  It also depends on those recreational & commercial fishermen who find tags in fish.  Please return tags, with information on the fish to NSW Fisheries Research Institute.

There are two (2) types of tag:

  • The Plastic tag is for Tuna, Mackerel, Kingfish, Salmon, Dolphin Fish etc.
  • The Steel tag is for the large pelagic fish, being all species of Billfish and Sharks.

(Anglers must only tag fish that are recommended for game fish tagging, on the 'Recommended Species List')

When the angler tags the fish, they fill out the details on a tag card with the corresponding tag number, and return it to Fisheries Research Institute (F.R.I.), postage paid.  The data is then entered onto the database.  They receive huge quantities of tag cards each season and every year the program is expanding, which is quite encouraging.  When a fish is recaptured with a tag in it, the angler sends F.R.I. back the information, and they then compare it to the tag and release information that they have received prior.  Both the first release and recapture anglers are sent a letter with the comparative details, and later issued with a Game Fish Recapture Certificate.  They do not issue monetary rewards as at present the program doesn't posess the adequate funding.

This knowledge enables the F.R.I. to observe migratory habits of the fish by measuring the distance travelled, and also monitor their growth patterns and behaviour in accordance with the calculated days or years the fish has been at liberty.  All of this information is of vital importance for the insight and management of each particular fishery.


TAG PLACEMENT - Please look after the fish

  • Remove the hook if it can be done easily.  If not, cut the line as close to the fish as possible.
  • Return the fish to the water as quickly as possible.
  • If you lay the fish down, put it on a smooth, cool, wet surface.
  • Keep your tag applicator clean.
  • The preferred tag placements are shown on the diagrams below:

tagplacement.gif (3725 bytes)

Striped Marlin: How to Catch and Release Big Fish - Great Article by Jon Schwartz with fantastic photos striped Marlin





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