IRD/CAP RUN Project PROSPER (PROSpection and habitat of large PElagic fish in the EEZ of Réunion Island) was initiated in 2010. During its initial phase (2010-2012) PROSPER was focused on experimental deep longline fishing targeting during daytime deep-swimming tropical tuna within Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Reunion Island and adjacent international waters. Preliminary results of the initial phase are available in IOTC document IOTC-2011-WPEB07-49.
The second phase of PROSPER (2014-2015) is focused on direct tracking of target species as it is considered the best way to collect data on behaviour and distribution of animals in the wild. Besides experimental fishing, PROSPER now includes tagging of yellowfin and bigeye tuna with pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) that collect data (depth, temperature, light-based location) while the tag is attached to the fish for a programmed period. Primary objectives of the second phase of PROSPER are collecting information on both habitat use (vertical movements) and connectivity of yellowfin and bigeye populations within the western Indian Ocean (horizontal migrations).
Three longline fishing and tagging cruises were carried out between November 2014 and April 2015 respectively within the EEZ of Reunion Island, the eastern part of the EEZ of Madagascar and on the Saya de Malha Bank in the international waters. A total of 41 tuna were tagged with PSATs and/or spaghetti tags. PSATs from Wildlife Computers (USA) and LOTEK (Canada) were attached to 24 yellowfin tuna and 10 bigeye tuna. Tags were programmed for detachment after 90 and 180 days. However, some prematurely released tags have already transmitted information on incredibly fast horizontal migrations of yellowfin tuna. One individual travelled more than 250 nautical miles while another one more than 300 nautical miles in about 15 days, i.e. in average 20 miles per day.
Satellite transmission is inevitably subjected to data loss and it is highly important that any PSAT found on recaptured fish, floating at the surface or stranded on the beach, is returned to us as well as some biometry data of the fish. IRD will pay reward for the return of a PSAT tag (50 euros) as well as the fish. IOTC will give reward for conventional tag return as usual. More details can be found in the poster using this link.
For tag return contact: Evgeny Romanov e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel : +262 (0) 2 62 22 33 85, Fax : +262 (0) 262 55 60 10
For more info on the PROSPER Project Phase 2, please contact: Pascal Bach email@example.com or Philippe Sabarros firstname.lastname@example.org