Posts Tagged ‘Panama’

Jun 19, 2013

Atlantic Tuna Project – 5 Days in Panama

John LoGioco with a Panama Yellowfin

The Atlantic Tuna Project’s John LoGioco recently returned from a tuna tagging project out of Panama Sportfishing lodge. In a short time span of five days, John and his team of six Atlantic Tuna Project anglers were able to successfully tag over 75 Yellowfin tuna! The quality of fish ranged from smaller grade 20lb tuna all the way up to cow 200lb class tuna.

Described as the best fishing any of his team has ever experienced, they were able to surpass their goal total for tags placed by a tremendous amount. To put this accomplishment in perspective 12 anglers in 2011 tagged 56 Yellowfin tuna, and last year 12 anglers were able to tag 27 yellowfin tuna. Prior to this trip, the team already had 3 tags recovered from these previous Panama trips. The tuna originally tagged in Panama were found in Equador, Costa Rica, and Southern Panama. With the additional 75 deployed tags they are looking forward to more recaptures to come.

Taking measurements with tag in place

John and team experienced a bit of weather as it was the beginning of the rainy season. Everyday they experienced rain and at times torrential thunder storm cells passing over South American toward Panama. However, the cloud cover and stormy weather seemed to get the fish active and willing to bite as they experienced fast and furious fishing from the get go. The captains targeted porpose and bird schools that would bring with them maurading Yellowfin tuna. Once an active school was found busting on blue runners, they would run & gun with poppers and jigs that would get instantly hit by tuna. The fishing never slowed down the five days of their stay and they kept on getting bigger! The team would have doubles and triples of 75-100lb tuna going as they fought through rain squalls, thunderstorms, and spots of sunshine.

Scott Kozak Releases Tagged Fish

This being the third year that the Atlantic Tuna Project members have been to the Panama Sport Fishing Lodge, the captains and mates are thoroughly experienced with how to properly tag fish. Boats are tagging machines as anglers, mates, and captains work together as a team. Each fish was carefully fought, tagged, and released. The method found to work best is to bring the tuna close to the boat, tag the fish in the water, then lift into the tuna into the boat and cover it’s eyes with a wet towel that renders the fish motionless. While this is taking place, meticulous measurements and records of each fish are logged by a team member. At the end of the trip, the ATP accomplished many goals: beat personal bests, beat previous Panama tagging efforts, and exceed their original goal of 50 tags deployed.

Feb 22, 2013

Yellowfin Tuna Tagging in Panama

Atlantic Tuna Project

Three tags deployed by members of the Atlantic Tuna Project in yellowfin tuna have been re-captured in the Pacific ocean.  The yellowfin tuna were tagged with conventional tags from The Billfish Foundation on dedicated catch, tag and release trips from the Panama Sportfishing Lodge in Chiriqui Panama.  The first recapture was originally tagged on April 9th, 2011 and recaptured on September 3rd, 2011 by a purse seiner off the coast of Costa Rica.   The second recapture was originally tagged on March 1st 2012 near Hannibal Bank and was recaptured in Southern Panama offshore of Los Santos on September 4th, 2012 by a recreational charter boat.  The third re-capture was originally tagged near Hannibal Bank in Panama on March 1st, 2012 and re-captured on May 18th, 2012 some 700 miles South off the coast of Equador by a private angler.  All three yellowfin were school size in the 40 inch range.

John LoGioco, founder of the Atlantic Tuna Project says “This is very exciting.  This represents a ~4% return rate for our efforts.  Personally I thought it would take a lot more tags to be deployed before we would see a return in this part of the Pacific ocean.  The benefits here are two fold, first it’s wonderful to see anglers enjoying a great fishing adventure on a catch, tag and release format, second the data retrieved from these returns is incredibly valuable to further understanding the habits of yellowfin tuna in this region.

Sportfishing is an important activity for Panama as a country, and yellowfin tuna are a main attraction.  This is one of largest directed efforts for recreational anglers directed at tagging yellowfin tuna in this region and it’s wonderful to see tags being returned.  The catch, tag and release culture for both billfish and tuna is critical for the long-term sustainability of the fishery.  The Billfish Foundation works with the Panamanian government as well as on the water efforts like the Atlantic Tuna Project to further protect this valuable fishery.

The anglers, who originally tag the tuna, also get notification of the re-capture and a certificate of their achievement. An Atlantic Tuna Project member who had one of his yellowfin recaptured says; “It’s incredibly rewarding to see a tag that I deployed come back.  It’s a great feeling to catch and release these tuna and to also know that my efforts could help better understand these great fish is amazing.  It’s a highlight of my angling career.”

Founded in 2009, The Atlantic Tuna Project is a community dedicated to facilitating catch, tag and release of offshore species such as Atlantic and Pacific tunas, billfish and sharks.  The web site, serves as the center of the project where captains and anglers can join and contribute to the conversation about catch, tag and release.

Measuring & Tagging Yellowfin Tuna

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