ORI records third marlin recapture in 30 years

A striped marlin with its yellow tag

After nearly 30 years of recording more than 1 420 tagged and released marlin, the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) only recently logged its third marlin recapture during that time.

The recapture involved a black marlin (Makaira indica) originally tagged by Anton Viljoen off Richards Bay on 22 February 2012. Just 90 days later on 22 May 2012, the marlin was recaptured by a French longliner operating off southern Madagascar, some 1 398km away.

What makes the recapture doubly exciting is that it represents the only known record of a black marlin having crossed the Mozambique Channel, since these fish generally remain relatively close to land. This interesting new information will assist in improving the conservation of billfish species.

ORI would like to make a special request to all billfish anglers to be on the lookout for tagged fish. If you happen to catch or see a tagged billfish (yellow spaghetti tag in the left or right "shoulder" of the fish under the dorsal fin), please make a concerted effort to report the number of the tag, approximate length or weight of the fish, date, locality, angler, skipper and boat name to a ORI Tagging Officer. You can contact them on 031 328 8159/079 529 0711 or email oritag@ori.org.za.