Benefits of angler assisted tag-and-release programs

Angler-based tagging programs can have substantial benefits to fisheries research and management in the marine system. Some cooperative tagging programs of this nature have been in existence for nearly 40 years, providing a long time-series of data that would not otherwise be available to managers. Data provided through cooperative tagging programs with commercial and recreational fishers have contributed to the management of Atlantic highly migratory species, nearshore marine reef species, and nearshore marine migratory species. In addition to adding to the database used to manage fisheries, angler-based tagging programs can be a vehicle to promote resource stewardship and conservation principles such as catch and release and proper release techniques. However, to maximize their utility, tagging programs should be conducted in conjunction with fishery management or research programs, provide some training to taggers, and have established objectives.