In 2020, the Beyond Our Shores Foundation (BOSF), a registered 501(c)(3), is promoting a dolphinfish tagging competition in effort to collect data on dolphinfish in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Four of the core research objectives are listed on the flyer above. This competition is conducted under BOSF’s Dolphinfish Research Program, the world’s largest international mark and recapture program for dolphinfish. Anglers who would like to participate need to request a tagging kit (click here) and tag, release, and report at least 20 tag deployments using the DRP data field log provided in your kit to email@example.com to qualify for the awards. Awards for 2020 tagging activity will be announced and given in January 2021. Awards for 2021 tagging activity will be announced and distributed next year.
|MAB Tagging Initiative Award Category*||Prize from DRP Award Sponsors|
|Top Tagging Boat – 2020: Vessel Kraken – Captain Jeff Jones – RI
||AFTCO 6′ Aluminum Gaff 4″ hook by 3/8″|
|AFTCO Maxforce Hx Harness|
|AFTCO Socorro Fighting Belt|
|2nd Top Tagging Boat – 2020: Vessel Pair of Docs – Captain Chris Jobes – NJ
||AFTCO 4′ Aluminum Gaff 4″ hook by 3/8″|
|AFTCO Maxforce Harness|
|AFTCO Alijos Fighting Belt|
|3rd Top Tagging Boat – 2020 – No Qualifier||6′ Conventional Star Rod|
|AFTCO Alijos Fighting Belt|
|*Minimum 20 reported tag deployments to qualify **Exact prize based on availability|
In the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB), we lack quantitative information on the movement dynamics, vertical depth use, and presence/absence of dolphin. Only 1.2% of all fish tagged for the program occurred in the MAB. Pair of Docs, owned and operated by David “Doc” Jobes, and its team based in Cape May, NJ, are responsible for 30% of all releases in the MAB and have in fact gotten a few recaptures out of their work. One of those fish was recaptured 56 days later only 19 kilometers from where it was released back in 2015. That fish was recovered by Gregory Pfeifer in September after the fish was released in July. Among the four other recaptures of fish that were released in the MAB, the maximum time at liberty was 15 days, and all fish were recaptured in relatively the same area as they were released (Wilmington Canyon). While many anglers may have an innate feeling about how the season progresses for dolphin and how they move in the MAB, without quantitative information we cannot begin to decipher, numerically predict/forecast, or fully understand what this amazing species does (or is doing) when it is present in the MAB. Case in point, a fish recently recaptured by Lenny Larson of Brick, NJ, highlights the presence of dolphin very close to shore off the northern coast of New Jersey. Captain Larson reported that he caught the fish in 185’ of water at a location called “Monster Ledge.” This is not only the closest recapture to shore for the program since 2002 but it is also the northernmost recapture in our program. This recovery is very timely given our intention to focus more time and resources toward further describing the movements of dolphin within the MAB. If would like a free kit please contact us at beyondourshores.org/contact.
Captain Gary Gambarani and angler Bill Harrington aboard Easton Pool tagged and released a 20″ dolphin in Washington Canyon off Maryland on July 25th, 2020. On September 10th, after weeks of consistent winds held boats back from venturing to the canyons off Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Captain Stephen Viglas recaptured Easton Pool’s fish in Veatch Canyon. This is the 11th within-region Mid-Atlantic Bight recovery for the Dolphinfish Research Program (DRP) but the first canyon-to-canyon northeasterly movement spanning nearly the entire region. When compared with other recoveries reported within Poor Man’s and Wilmington Canyons, mostly from tagging efforts lead by Captains Chris and David Jobes and angler Will Jobes aboard Pair of Docs, the average movement rate of this new recovery is twice as fast as the previous 10 recaptures (6.65 mpd versus 3.36 mpd). This new recovery is a stark contrast to the lingering movements observed within Poor Man’s and Wilmington Canyons and merits the need to tag and release more fish within this region to showcase connectivity between canyons and the movement of dolphin biomass within the region. For this particular recovery, the recapture length is unknown but given the time at large and the average growth rate observed for the program it is likely the fish grew 4” and put on nearly 1 ¾ pounds while at liberty. In the image to the left the numbers represent days at liberty for 7 of the 11 recoveries.
Straight-line distance between tag and recapture sites = 312.59 miles; Straight-line movement rate = 6.65 miles per day; Days at liberty = 47.
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