Ahi Tagging

Tagging Tuna (yellowfin and bigeye) in the Main Hawaiian Islands – Final Report

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Ahi Tagging Project Fall 2016 Newsletter

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PIFG Launches new Ahi Satellite Tagging Project

Working with Atlantic Bluefin scientist Dr. Molly Lutcavage, Director of the Large Pelagics Research Center (LPRC), PIFG successfully launched a new tuna tagging project on Kauai last month by placing three pop up archival satellite of PSAT tags in yellowfin tunas of 120, 160 and 180 pounds. Two experienced Kauai-based boat captains assisted the tag-ging team in finding, capturing and releasing the large yellow-fin tunas in June and July 2014. In fall of 2014 the project was expanded to Kona in hopes of tagging bigeye tuna.

The project goal is to tag 2 more yellowfin or bigeye tunas this year. The purpose for tagging these mature tuna is to better understand their migration patterns and behavior once they leave the Hawaiian waters. Tags record light levels (used to estimate daily geoposition), temperature and depth for 9 months. The PSAT is programmed to then will release from the tether, float to the surface and, hopefully, transmit the data to receiving stations on NOAA satellites. Once re-ceived, the data will be examined and analyzed by Dr. Tim Lam from the LPRC.

In support of this project, the PIFG team provided a public presentation on the Kauai and Kona about the Ahi Tagging Project and conducted an ahi tag training and certification workshop in preparation for the tagging events. PIFG also provided project outreach by distributing Tag Recovery Reward flyers to various Fishing Tackle and Fish Dealers Statewide. Project updates will also be published in the Lawaia magazine and on the PIFG website www.fishtoday.org.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the following participating fishermen who were instrumental in kicking off this project on Kauai. Captain Ryan Koga, Captain Marvin Lum, Captain Alan Horikawa, Cory Nakamura, Eric Hadama, Craig Koga, Mark Oyama, and Bryan Hayashi. In Kona Captain Nathan Abe, Captain Kevin Awa, John Kauhaihao, Ryan Kusunoki and Justin Pasamonte. On Oahu vessel owner Michael Abe, Captain Gary Shirakata, and crew of the F/V AO Shibi IV.


A Big Mahalo to the Western Pacific Fishery Council for sponsoring this cooperative research tagging project.

Preliminary Ahi Tagging Data

This graph shows a 53 day ahi track from the Island of Kauai. The ahi was tagged on June 28, 2014 and the tag re-leased prematurely on August 20, 2014.









Depth range over the 53 days of liberty.










Detailed Depth range covered by the tagged ahi over a 24 hour period.







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