Modern technology aids bill fish tagging


(Posted 17th April 2015)

Kenya’s coast, from Malindi over Watamu all the way to the Pemba Channel where the waters are shared with Tanzania is rightly famous for offering some of the world’s best fishing grounds and for having attracted the big names hunting for the big game fish like Ernest Hemingway.

In recent years has a determined push taken place to catch, tag and then release the fish again, helping to keep the numbers of the big game fish up.

The African Billfish Foundation is playing a major role in the conservation but also the scientific tracking and monitoring of these amazing fish, as recently mentioned here after a visit to Malindi and Watamu in early March. Information has now come to light that in a national and very likely African first has a Striped Marlin, which was caught in Kenyan waters by Michael Marriott of the Pemba Fishing Club, been fitted with a satellite tag to allow monitor its movement.

A 180 day wait is now underway as the tag will then self-release, come to the ocean surface and transmit the data of the fish’s movement over the past half year. As the range of these fish is vast, from the East African coast to the Arabian Gulf and all the way to Australia there is some serious anticipation going on in the quarters of the ABF what data they may capture when it comes up. The tag numbers were given by the African Billfish Foundation as satellite tag 1258 and ABF tag 47.988. Thanks to Nick Conway of Fish & Safaris Kenya for the information provided to this correspondent.