Tagging fish is a valuable way of obtaining information on the biology (distribution, movement, growth, exploitation) of the sharks, skates, rays, pike, tench and other sport fish targeted by anglers both at sea and in freshwater. As the anglers are directly involved in the projects, in many cases tagging the fish and in nearly all cases reporting recaptures, it encourages them to participate in the management of the fishery.
The tagging data is used by scientists to study the lives and habits both the highly mobile fish species (e.g. blue shark) and those which tend to live all their lives in a discrete area (e.g common skate). The migratory habits of the tagged fish are observed by measuring the distance and direction travelled between tagging and recapture, and this can be linked with environmental factors. Growth patterns are also monitored. The observations also enable scientists to study the structure of fish stocks and assess whether there is any mixing between populations that are geographically distant from one another. This information is vital to improve the understanding and management of valuable game and sport fish species.
If you catch a tagged fish please report it to Inland Fisheries Ireland using our contact details and/or on-line email form here.
There are two main strands to fish tagging run by IFI. One is the Marine Sport Fish Tagging Programme which has operated since 1970 and the other is comprised of various freshwater tagging programmes which are run as part of various projects..