NZSFC Old Newsletters

Gamefish Tagging Report

Change of Address
The Fisheries division of the Ministry for Primary Industries has changed its name and moved to a new address at the MPI campus on Maurice Wilson Avenue, near Auckland Airport. Pleasenote the new Postal Address for all tag cards and recapture information:

Gamefish Tagging Fisheries New Zealand
PO Box 53030
Auckland 2150

Mail to the old Auckland postal address will be redirected, but only for a limited time. Unfortunately, there will be tags on fish and in circulation with the old address for some time to come. We have been trialling a website that allows fishers to report recaptures and some releases online. This was set up to assist fly fishing guides who have been using small plastic dart tags to track kingfish they catch in some North Island harbours and on the flats in Golden Bay. There have been some problems with entry of release information but reporting recaptures has worked well. Fishers can upload a photo of the fish and the tag. In future gamefish tags will have the website printed on them as a reporting option. Go to: and click on Report a tag recapture 2017–18 season While there are still a few marlin around, the summer of 2017–18 was generally a poor one for striped marlin. There were blue marlin and a surprising number of shortbill spearfish in the early months. When the striped marlin turned up they tended to be in patches, some off the west coast and some off Northland. There were good numbers of kingfish around this season but not always in the usual places. Warm sea temperatures saw a number of species range further south than last summer. We are still receiving and processing tag cards so no totals are available yet, but we will need these soon. Please return all tag cards now for fish released in the 2017–18 season or earlier using the new address above. GameTag News July 2017 
Tag recaptures There were four billfish recaptures reported lastseason. A swordfish tagged off Primetime in 2009 at Middlesex Bank was recaptured last year by a New Zealand tuna longliner west of the Waikato. It had been at liberty for 8 years 3 months and was estimated about 140 kg on both occasions. Male swordfish don’t get much larger than this. A striped marlin tagged off New Plymouth in March 2016 was recaptured two years later off Raglan. This fish had a steel anchored tag and was about 110 kg on release and weighed 122 kg on recapture. A swordfish tagged in April 2016 in the Bay of Plenty was recaptured in mid-January 2018 by a tuna longliner in the outer Bay of Plenty. This
time the steel anchored tag had stayed in place for 1 year 10 months. It was estimated to weigh 100 kg on release and 115 kg when it was recaptured. Typically, swordfish and marlin breed in subtropical waters in spring or early summer and in the case of these fish, have returned to New Zealand in subsequent years. Therefore, the management measures applied in New Zealand
will have some impact on the population that is available here in future years. A striped marlin tagged at the Wanganella Banks was recaptured 150 nautical miles west of New Caledonia on 20 June 2018 by a local longline boat. This fish was released on 30 March 2018 from the vessel Bwana II and estimated at 50 kg. Therefore, it had travelled 700 nautical miles NNE in 82 days.
Three mako sharks were recaptured. All were tagged in the first three months of 2017 and were all caught six to nine months later in other countries. A 50 kg mako tagged of Kawhia was recaptured in August by a longliner from Noumea and released alive with the tag intact. A 35 kg mako tagged off Whangarei Heads was recaptured in Tongan waters in October 2017 after 272 days at liberty. A small mako free tagged (without being hooked) off Tangimoana was caught by a recreational fisher in Bass Strait 284 days after it was released. This fish was retagged and released.
Reporting recaptures If you recapture a tagged fish, we need all the same information you would put on a release card. Please measure kingfish by laying them flat on a measuring board and recording the distance from the nose to the vee of the tail. It is highly likely that a tagged kingfish was measured this way on release. Send the information to the new postal address or enter on the Fishtagnz web site.
There are incentives to report tag recaptures:
1. $1000 lucky draw each year for one fisher whoreturns a tag with all the required information.
2. A reward shirt for each angler who tags a fishthat is recaptured.
3. A polo shirt with GameTag logo for the anglerreporting the recapture.
4. Recapture letters go to anglers and skippersinvolved with release and recapture.Thanks to Fisheries New Zealand who fund data management and reporting; the NZSFC which purchases and distributes the tags; and Blue Water Marine Research who are contracted to manage the database.