Monday, September 27, 2010

TAG & Tonno Rosso in Italia

Greetings from Porto Barricata! On Thursday, Dr. Pablo Cermeno (WWF) and I arrived in Italy where we were warmly greeted by our gracious host Daniele Crepaldi. Daniele then whisked us to the port for the tournament briefing for the 2nd Edition of the Porto Barricata Fishing Club Tuna Tournament Tag (sic). There were a lot of eager faces and a lot of interest in Tag-A-Giant.

Friday, our first fishing day, was beautiful and over 45 boats fished during day-one of the tournament. Unfortunately, the fishing was slow, but we successfully tagged one 153 cm (60-inch) bluefin tuna that was transferred to us from the "Hook-up," a beautiful 32' Boston Whaler Outrage with twin 275 hp Mercs. Daniele, the tournament organizers, the TAG crew and the fishers alike were all excited about this tag deployment.

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate for day-two of the tournament, and Saturday was cancelled.

We were able to fish on Sunday on Daniele's boat the "Kahuna," with five other boats from the port pledging to transfer us any captured fish. The slow fishing persisted and neither we, nor our five collaborating vessels, hooked any tunas.

Not dissuaded, we attempted to fish again today, Monday, but an Adriatic storm brewed up, forcing us to retreat to the port.

Currently, it is very windy, but we are hoping to get out one last day on the water tomorrow before both Pablo and I must leave this beautiful place on Wednesday.

Dr. Andrew Seitz
Professor, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
On location for TAG in Porto Barricata, Italy

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tag A Giant Dreams

TAG has a fantastic weekend in store for anyone who loves bluefin tunas -led by Dr. Steve Wilson and Team Canada- and a Team in the Mediterranean led by Dr. Andy Seitz and Dr. Pablo Cermeno working in the gorgeous Adriatic Sea just south of Venice - now that is hard duty. Of course I am here in my office, looking out at the ocean- writing a grant- can't wait to be tagging tunas again-and have to admit- "wish I was there". If you're a fan of TAG fishing you'll be checking our pages over the next few days. Up in Canada where Dr. Steve Wilson and Mr. Robbie Schallert are making history once again- with the hard working Port Hood Nova Scotia fleet of Tag vessels and our PEI TAG team- led by Bay Queen IV Captain Dennis Cameron, and PEI boats headed up by Captain Bruce Kues and his former record holding father - we're so proud of this team. Today after a post- hurricane Igor patient hold -they went out and together tagged 9 giant bluefin, yes I did say 9 giants- of the 1000 lb variety! Our Canada team off spectacular Cape Breton. A remarkable story unfolded-including fish that measured 302cm- 3 meters plus! We tagged one that big three years ago that swam into the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico to spawn. Now anyway you slice it- this is a big fish. They are pushing 1300 lbs at this length imagine a fish over 3 meters in length- on the tag boat and carrying our spectacular Wildlife Computers PAT satellite tag jewelry, thats a smart bluefin (survived a lot of decisions, migrations, humans, and a few white shark/orca encounters I suspsect) - My hats off to our team (I don't wear a hat). But you know what I mean. And to everyone who is a member of the TAG family -just imagine the fun they were having- Rob says he was hand feeding 1000 lb giants behind the boat. I would guess they were trained off NC.

Great job- team Canada! May these fish find the Cabot Straight, See my natal shores of Cape Cod, and visit NC on the way to the Gulf of Mexico Spawning ground- swim free- and swim fast!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TAG Team Canada Reports In

The TAG Team in Canada with Dr. Steve Wilson, Dr. Mike Stokesbury and Sir Robbie Schallert had a superstart to our Canadian Campaign in Port Hood, Nova Scotia this past weekend. The team has tagged about a dozen large giants off Port Hood Nova Scotia. The efforts is made possible by the assistance of our great team of fishers from the Region (Captains Dennis Cameron, Bernie Chisholm, Steve Macinnis, Pete Sutherland, Bruce and Ross Kues) and the mates aboard all the vessels but particular Sheldon from the Bay Queen IV. The fish were outfitted with the latest Wildlife Computers MK10 Pop Up Satellite Tags carefully positioned for a journey that might take these instrumented fish to their natal spawning grounds.
Weather was flat calm and the fishing was consistent. As the weather turned the fishing slowed down and now the Tag team is waiting for a weather break having successfully avoided Hurricane IGOR. Go TEAM Tuna!