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A Device for Greatly Reducing Fishing Mortality for....
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA06FD0447          NMFS NUMBER: 00-SWR-002

REPORT TITLE:  A Device for Greatly Reducing Fishing Mortality for Protected Giant Seabass (Stereolepis gigas) and Jewfish (Epinephelus itajara)

AUTHOR: Michael L. Domeier

PUBLISH DATE:  October 2001

AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Region, 501 West Ocean Boulevard, Room 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213.   TELEPHONE:  (562) 980-4033

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ABSTRACT

California's giant sea bass and Florida's goliath grouper (formerly referred to as jewfish) are both very large protected species that are incidentally caught by recreational and commercial hook and line anglers. When these fish are brought to the surface, the air in their swim bladders expands greatly, making the fish so buoyant that it cannot swim back to the bottom when released. A release device was designed and manufactured to allow commercial and recreational anglers a means of safely releasing large bottom fish with swim bladders. A prototype was built from which changes were made before a final product was produced. The final product was tested in the field on giant seabass and goliath grouper. Fish captured and released with this device were shown to survive through the use of acoustic tagging and tracking. Twenty-five of these devices were manufactured for the distribution to commercial and party boats that routinely encounter these large protected species.  

 
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