Thursday, January 4, 2007

Welcome to TAG 2007!

It gives me great pleasure to write my first blog for the Tag-A-Giant Foundation (TGF) and to welcome you to TAG 2007.

Through the generosity of Mr. Richard Worley, the owner of the F/V Leslie Anne, and Dr. Tom McMurray, an alumnus of Duke University and advisor for the Duke Marine Lab, we’ve built a new foundation, TGF. Our goal is to continue doing rigorous science that will influence policy and management in a way that ensures the bluefin’s future. I personally think our involvement in this fishery is remarkably important at this critical time. All signs in the ocean indicate that the northern bluefin tuna are not doing well in the Atlantic, and I feel our team is providing the scientific data that are key to improving how the species is managed.

We need your help! We have approximately 80 tags to put in to reach the goal of 1000 bluefin tagged in the Atlantic, and we’re just not going to stop until we get there. I am here for all of you who care about bluefin tuna, both recreational and commercial fishers. I believe we can have a sustainable bluefin fishery in the North Atlantic, but we’ll have to get the eastern nations to believe us when we say that our fish are their fish. So let’s keep putting in those electronic tags, and if you see a fish with green and white external tags, remember to keep the tag or let us know immediately so that we can help remove the tag. Each tag has a story that remains critical for showing how bluefin use the North Atlantic.

At TAG 2007 you’ll see Dr. Andre Boustany, who finished his Ph.D and is now at Duke University working with Dr. Pat Halpin’s lab, taking a lead role. Andre’s move to North Carolina provides the State and Duke with a first rate leader from the TAG program here. I thank both Andre and Pat for helping to move the team forward in North Carolina. Mr. Richard Worley has once again donated the use of the Leslie Anne complete with Captain Gary Stuve and company, perhaps the most committed bluefin tuna taggers ever. Captain Dale Britt’s back with the Sensation, and for sure you’ll see us all out fishing. Please consider passing fish to us by calling Dale if you want an archival or pop-up satellite tag on your fish.

Finally, you should know that another former student, Shana Beemer - now Miller - is back with the team. She heads the coordination of the Foundation. You can sign up on our webpage ( to receive information on bluefin tuna - or look around town for one of our new brochures. We’re committed to helping the west save our bluefin and our fishery, so remember, we’re here for you. We need DNA samples from all fish- please stop by the TAG boats and pick up some sampling kits. See you on the water! Barb

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