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"Tag A Tiny" Tuna Fishing Program

The Large Pelagics Research Center (LPRC), based in Gloucester, Mass., initiated its Tag A Tiny program in 2006 to study the annual migration paths and habitat use of juvenile Atlantic bluefin tuna. Through this co-operative tagging program, which uses tags from The Billfish Foundation (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) recreational anglers and charter captains catch, measure and release juvenile bluefin with conventional "spaghetti"-ID tags.

To date, 885 recreational fishermen have helped LPRC to tag 1,006 bluefin, mostly juveniles from one to four years old, and some "medium" size fish, nearing 180 centimeters. All of the records are entered into the Billfish Foundation, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) databases.

LPRC was established in 2003 at the University of New Hampshire and, in 2010, joined the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the Graduate School of Marine Science.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Molly Lutcavage, director, research professor
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: Large Pelagics Research Center (LPRC)
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • LOCATION: - Eastern United States/Atlantic Coast states
  • PROJECT TYPE: Fieldwork
  • COST: $20-$50
  • GRADE LEVEL: 18+ years old
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

    For recreational fishermen interested in joining the LRPC's tagging efforts, click on the volunteer form link and fill out the form. Program coordinators will contact you with more information.

See more projects in $20-$50Fieldwork18+ years old.

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Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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