I am sad to say that over the past couple of months I have seen some disturbing pictures and videos of really poorly tagged rays.
Overall, we have a recapture rate of less than 1% for all ray species that have been tagged in the ORI-CFTP, indicating that we receive very few recaptures from these animals. Although some of the recaptures have provided us with useful data, there are still too few recaptures to justify the continuation of tagging these animals using dart tags. 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲, 𝘄𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗿𝗮𝘆 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗲𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁.
We previously removed rays from the Priority Tagging List, but we are reiterating this again now. 𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗗𝗢 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝘁𝗮𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗿𝗮𝘆 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵 𝘂𝗻𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗮𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗹𝘀. Unfortunately, we are not too sure why there are so few tag recaptures but some thoughts are poor tag placement (i.e. in the kidneys as seen in the above pictures – leading to possible post-release mortality), poor tag retention and possible biting off of tags by fish species such as puffer fish.