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There may be substantial rewards associated with the recovery of a tagged fish, especially if the tag is an electronic one. These rewards are paid by the research agency involved in the tagging campaign. In addition, to promote recovery of tags, ICCAT holds annual lotteries. Three draws are held, one each for billfish, temperate tunas and tropical tunas, with a US$500 prize for each winner. The ICCAT tagging lottery takes place annually during the SCRS meeting.

When a tag is recovered, the following information needs to be reported:

  • The species
  • The number(s) in the tag
  • The date and place where you caught it and the fishing gear used
  • The size or weight of the fish, including the type of measurement

Tag returns can be sent to the ICCAT Secretariat or to ICCAT tagging correspondents (view a List of Addresses).

How to report a tag recovery

There are two ways of reporting tags to ICCAT. One is a simple reporting form, intended for the general public to report information on a single tag. The other is an electronic reporting form that has multiple sheets and is intended for research institutes to report multiple tagging or recovery events.

Note: To remove an archival tag, a 15 cm incision should be made in the belly cavity, in front of the area where the sensor enters into the fish. The archival tag (with light sensor attached) should then be removed by hand. DO NOT REMOVE THE ARCHIVAL TAG BY PULLING ON THE LIGHT SENSOR. Wash the tag with water and store it at room temperature.