Bullbuster In Action:

100 Tagging Programs Avid Anglers Should Know About

Author: Bullbuster Team

A Comprehensive List of Tagging Programs, by Region

This sailfish was tagged by two charter boat captains volunteering as part of the NOAA Cooperative Tagging Program (Photo: Saltwater Sportsman)

US East Coast and Western Atlantic

1) NOAA Fisheries Apex Predators Program (APP) is based out of the National Marine Fisheries Service Laboratory in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Their focal research is on commercially and recreationally important shark species in national waters along the US east coast. 

2) NOAA Apex Predators Program: Spiny Dogfish Tagging Study monitors this important commercial fishery that is currently considered sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under US regulations. 

3) NOAA Apex Predator Program: Double Tagging Experiment is conducted to increase understanding of fish behavior in response to tagging and how effective tags are in terms of tag retention (rate of tag shedding).  

4) NOAA Fisheries Cooperative Shark Tagging Program (CSTP) was launched in 1962 with just 100 volunteers and has since expanded to include thousands of volunteers from all over North America and Europe.

5) NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center Cooperative Tagging Center, along with The Billfish Foundation, runs a volunteer-based tagging program that emphasizes highly migratory species of tuna and billfish. They encourage all fishermen to get involved, free tags and tagging kits are available. Email: tagging@noaa.gov for more information! 

6) Large Pelagics Research Center (LPRC) is located in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and is part of the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute. The LPRC aims to work with fishing communities to research the life histories and ecology of large pelagic fish to provide strong science for policy makers and fishery managers using ecosystem-based management strategies. 

Using PSAT tags, the LPRC was able to track the daily vertical migration of Bigeye Tuna, revealing that they dive to 500m (1640ft) every day!

7) LPRC Tag a Tiny Program: Help researchers from the Large Pelagics Research Center tag juvenile bluefin tuna in efforts to identify their migratory patterns and habitat usage in the northwest Atlantic. Tag a Tiny is an example of a successful cooperative program able to enlist a network of fishermen taggers from recreational anglers and charter boat captains. 

8) LPRC Atlantic Bluefin Tuna PSAT Tagging: pop-up satellite archival tags (PSAT) are used to study the intermixing of eastern and western Atlantic stocks of bluefin tuna, as well as new spawning grounds and foraging habitat. The results from this study provide valuable information that helps improve fishing regulations and stock protection. 

9) LPRC Sailfish Tagging: aims to learn more about sailfish distribution and population centers in the Atlantic Ocean. Although sailfish make up a thriving recreational fishery, many scientists believe they are fully exploited as the result of bycatch in commercial longline fisheries. 

10) The Tuna Research & Conservation Center (TRCC) Tagging Program: is a joint program between Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station and the Monterey Bay Aquarium that aims to advance research and education of tuna and other highly migratory species. Other species TRCC has devoted research to include makos, great whites, salmon sharks, sailfish, swordfish, and marlin. 

11) NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center's Cooperative Yellowtail Flounder Tagging Project: based out of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, this project is an example of a program that successfully includes the input of commercial fishing vessels and captains by involving them in the tagging process. The tagging program's efforts aim to estimate the movement of 3 distinct stocks, estimate the mortality rates within each stock area, and observe growth and behavior to better create more comprehensive stock assessments for management purposes. 

12) Grey Fishtag Research: an international non-profit organization dedicated to creating an international network of professional fishermen and scientists to promote the sustainability of marine game fish. 

13) The Billfish Foundation was founded in the 1980’s by a group of scientists and avid fishermen to advance research and education for improved species conservation. Their largest project, the billfish tag and release program is the most extensive of its kind. Since 1990, TBF has recorded over 220,000 tag and release reports. If you find a TBF tag, contact tag@billfish.org or call them (954) 938-0150

14) Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission: 15 states along the Atlantic coast of the US have formed this commission to cooperatively coordinate and manage important fisheries along the coast, in understanding that fish do not follow political boundaries. Their website has a comprehensive list of related tagging programs for marine and anadromous fish species, as well as shellfish. 

15) American Littoral Society: This tagging program focuses on species found within the Littoral zone (nearshore environment where sunlight still penetrates through the whole water column) including striped bass, flounder, bluefish, tautog, and black seabass. Once a year the data collected from their tagging program is compiled and sent to the National Marine Fisheries Service in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. 

16) The New England Aquarium's Marine GIS Group Rescue and Rehabilitation Program: satellite tags are placed on rescued and rehabilitated marine animals, such as dolphins and sea turtles, to help provide information on the effectiveness of the stranding rescue program, as well as health and fitness of these stranded animals after their release. You can learn more about this program through the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life website. 

A Red Drum tagged as part of the Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program

17) Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program (VGFTP): this program was launched in efforts to involve the recreational angling community in the state of Virginia in conservation and management of their important marine fisheries. It is a cooperative effort between the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament Office, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Targeted species for the tagging program include: cobia, flounder, red and black drum, speckled trout, black seabass, spadefish, sheepshead, tautog, and gray triggerfish. 

18) Berkeley Striper Club: New Jersey Striper fanatics have tagged over 25,000 Striped Bass; their goal is to help contribute to the scientific knowledge concerning Striper migration and rates, to manage and protect the Striper fishery for generations to come. 

19) South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Marine Game Fish Tagging Program: engages the public in marine resource management through volunteer angler tagging and provides the equipment and training necessary. Must have a valid South Carolina Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. Targeted species include: black drum, cobia, dolphin (Mahi Mahi), flounder, kingfish (Whiting), red drum, and sheepshead. 

20) The University of Dartmouth's School for Marine Science and Technology (SMASTCod Tagging Project: developed and funded through the Massachusetts Fisheries Recovery Commission and NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Region Cooperative Research Partners Initiative. This program was created as an industry-based network of data collection taking advantage of the knowledge and expertise from commercial fishermen. 

21) Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Tags N' Trout Program: several different sponsors (businesses, sportsmen's club, etc.) have provided for trout tagging programs throughout the state under the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Anglers are incentivized to report tagged trout they catch with potential prizes from each sponsor. You can read more about the importance of trout conservation here.  

22) Hudson River Foundation Striped Bass Recovery Program: each winter since 1984, 10,000-25,000 striped bass are tagged in the Hudson River as part of a long-term effort to monitor fish stocks for abundance and behavior research. Anglers are encouraged to remove the tags from their bellies and send them to HRF for a monetary prize. 

23) North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Tagging Program: scientists from the Division of Marine Fisheries started a tagging study in 2014 to study the growth, migration, population status, and habitat use for species with economic value including: striped bass, red drum, spotted seatrout, southern flounder, as well as Mahi, white perch, and yellow perch. 

24) North Carolina State University Weakfish Tagging Study: researchers from NC State are working on a study aimed to better understand the population decline of Weakfish (also known as Gray trout, Sea Trout, Tiderunner, Drummer, and Squeteague) using conventional external tags as well as sonic telemetry tags to provide fine scale information on Weakfish population movement and habitat use off the coast of North Carolina. 

25) Georgia Cooperative Angler Tagging Program: the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Coastal Resources Division launched an on-going tagging program in 1988 and has since tagged thousands of fish including: spotted seatrout, sheepshead, red drum, tripletail, and tarpon. The purpose of the tagging program is learn more about these targeted species' movement and habitat preference using mark and recapture research methods with external anchor tags. 

26) South Carolina Marine Resources Research Institute Inshore Fisheries Tag-and-Release Studies: researchers from the SC Department of Natural Resources have two current tagging studies for inshore fisheries: red drum (in estuarine environments) and striped mullet (commercial fishery for mullet roe). The goals of these projects are to better understand these euryhaline species' life histories and population dynamics, and impacts from the recreational fisheries. 

 27) Delaware River Atlantic Sturgeon Tagging Program: the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife are using acoustic telemetry tags to study juvenile sturgeon in the lower Delaware River and Delaware Estuary to study their movement patterns and habitat use. Their hope is to develop an efficient monitoring program that will yield information on how to recover the declining Atlantic Sturgeon population.

28) Recreational Fishing Alliance, Connecticut Chapter Tag a Tautog for Tomorrow: Tautog are becoming increasingly popular in the recreational fishing industry, resulting in heavy exploitation without full understanding of the species physiology and population dynamics. 

29) Maryland Department of Natural Resources Tags Return Program: the state of Maryland has an on-going tagging program for several important fisheries in order to obtain as much information as possible about each species' growth, movement, habitat use, and mortality. These target species include: American Shad, Atlantic Croaker, Black Drum, Blue Catfish, Chain Pickerel, Hickory Shad, Largemouth Bass, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Northern Snakehead, Striped Bass, White Perch, and Yellow Perch. 

30) Maryland Department of Natural Resources Horseshoe Crab Tags: These primitive looking species make up an important fishery that supports the biomedical industry. Report tagged Horseshoe crabs you find, providing the tag number, crab location, and general conditions, for a reward!  

31) North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Red Drum Tagging Program: this long-term tagging program, through the Division of Marine Fisheries, engages volunteers in tagging thousands of Red Drum, every year, to add to the knowledge foundation of this important recreational fishery.  

32) NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Cooperative Black Sea Bass Tagging Project: This cooperative project aims to connect researchers from the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, several state agencies and commercial & recreational fishermen. This comprehensive tagging program aims to collect information about the species' seasonal inshore and offshore movements, as well as its ecological conditions. The fishery for Black Sea Bass is considered sustainable, thanks to successful long-term monitoring efforts

33) NOAA Scup Tagging in the Northeast: The NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center and Marine Fisheries Initiative created a cooperative Scup (Porgy) tagging program in 2005 to cover three main objectives: examine Scup movement through different areas of management, incorporate local fishermen knowledge into the research, and determine exploitation rates for better stock assessment. 

34) NOAA Cooperative Monkfish Tagging Study: Another cooperative tagging program spearheaded by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center is the Monkfish Tagging Program, designed to better understand the monkfish population size and dynamics, geographic distribution, and exploitation rates within the commercial industry. Key partners in the monkfish tagging program include the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST). 

35) Rutgers University Winter Flounder Tagging Program: Researchers from Rutgers University are studying the movements of Winter Flounder. Their program includes archival tags as well as yellow loop tags attached to the dorsal (top) fins. For more information you can email winter.flounder.project@gmail.com

36) The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCATAtlantic Ocean Topical Tuna Tagging Program (AOTTP): ICCAT's tuna tagging program started in 2015 and will last 5 years, aiming to tag over 120,000 of the most important tropical Atlantic tuna species- skipjack, bigeye, and yellowfin tuna. The objective of this program is to obtain growth, mortality, migration, and stock-structure information to provide scientific advice for adoption of appropriate tuna regulations. Ultimately, this is to help secure the economic growth and food stability of the Atlantic coastal states through sustainable management. 

37) The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCATGrand Bluefin Tuna Year Program (GBYP): GBYP is an Atlantic Wide tagging program targeting bluefin tuna. Its purpose is to expand data sources to improve catch per unit effort (CPUE) calculations, better understand the biology and ecology of bluefin tuna, and improve stock assessment models for management purposes. 

38) The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and US National Marine Fisheries Service Tuna and Billfish Tagging Program: This cooperative tuna tagging program includes international input from fisherman and scientists to research large pelagic fish population dynamics and boundaries, migratory patterns, and growth and mortality rates. Atlantic tuna and billfish species are tagged with an orange or yellow external streamer tag place under the dorsal midline side. 

39) The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCATJuvenile BFT CO-OP Tagging Project: researchers from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the University of New Hampshire, along with participating commercial and recreational fishermen, teamed up to tag juvenile bluefin tuna with archival tags. Collecting these tags will provide insight to the migratory patterns of the northwest Atlantic bluefin population as part of an entire trans-Atlantic research program spearheaded by ICCAT. 

The dorsal fin of a shark, tagged with a satellite tag and external tags (Photo: Cape Eleuthera Research Station)

40) National Aquarium Shark Tagging: once a year, the National Aquarium (Baltimore, MD) hosts a shark tagging expedition out of Ocean City, MD to include citizens scientists from the general public. The expeditions are hosted in collaboration with the NMFS Cooperative Shark Tagging Program and are meant to make connections and create general support for important shark conservation efforts. Participants have the opportunity to help catch sharks, reel them in, measure them, take samples for DNA analysis, tagging, and releasing them. 

41) Virginia Institute of Marine Science Shark Tagging : the VIMS Shark Assessment and Monitoring Program began tagging sharks in 1990 to their growth and migration along the US East Coast and has since tagged almost 6500 individuals. VIMS mark-and-recapture has been especially useful for research on juvenile sharks utilizing nearshore areas as nursery grounds, where anglers are more likely to catch and report them. 

42) COASTSPAN : The Cooperative Atlantic States Shark Pupping and Nursery (COASTSPAN) survey is managed by NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center through the Apex Predators Program . The mission of the project is to find important shark nursery grounds along the US East Coast, distinguish the species composition there and their preferences for habitat use, overall distribution, and migration patterns. 

43) New Hampshire Fish and Game Squam Lakes Tagged Bass Movement Study : NH Fish and Game have a study using radio tags to learn more about largemouth and smallmouth bass in Little and Big Squam Lakes, and their movement between the two water bodies. The radio tags are placed in the body cavity of the fish, along with an external tag below the dorsal fin. This study is in collaboration with the NH B.A.S.S. Nation and the Squam Lakes Association

44) New Hampshire Fish and Game Lobster Tagging : scientists from the Fish and Game Department and the University of New Hampshire are conducting a tagging program for the American lobster to track down important areas for large egg bearing female lobsters. They also hope to collect information about migration and population links between inshore and offshore waters. Anglers are encouraged to call in and report lobster tags; monetary rewards and the chance to be entered in an annual raffle are available.

45) Susquehanna River Shad Restoration: the state of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources is working to replenish American and Hickory shad populations after the fishery closed in the 1980’s in response to severe overfishing. The DNR biologists release marked hatchery fish, intended to help support self-sustaining wild populations in important tributaries of the Chesapeake. 

46) Presidential Challenge Charitable Foundation, Inc: Adopt-A-Billfish: The Adopt-A-Billfish program is an opportunity for donors to provide pop-up satellite archival tags to billfish research coordinated by NOAA’s Southeast and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers, and The Billfish Foundation. The information collected from these PSAT tags provides insight to connections in billfish stocks and global migration patterns, which can be used for management and conservation efforts. 

Tagging Kits provided by the Large Pelagics Research Center "Tag a Tiny" Program

Gulf of Mexico, Western Atlantic, and Caribbean Sea

47) Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Angler Tag Return Program: biologists from FWC have several continuous tagging programs to monitor wild caught and hatchery fish using both acoustic and visual external tags to learn more about the species biology and life history of important commercial and recreational fisheries. The targeted species for these programs include: CobiaGoliath GrouperLargemouth BassSnook,, and Sturgeon

48) The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL): a leader in Gulf of Mexico marine sport fish tag-and-release programs for nearly thirty years. Their angler cooperative program aims to monitor important fisheries in the area: Cobia, Tripletail, and Spotted Sea Trout, and learn more about the relationships between coastal marine habitat and fish sustainability. GCRL provides anglers with free tagging kits that use dart tags. 

49) The Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, or 'Tag Louisiana': a collaboration between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Coastal Conservation Association (LA), and other in-state universities and non-profit organizations. Two main goals Tag Louisiana strives for include establishing an extensive tagging network that employs and educates local anglers, and improving the overall understanding of these important sport fish movements, patterns of habitat use, and population dynamics. 

50) University of Miami Shark Research and Conservation Program: The SRC research group focuses on behavioral and movement ecology, food-web dynamics, and conservation biology for the ocean's apex predators- sharks. The lab also prioritizes fostering scientific literacy and environmental consciousness in the local community, offering unique, hands-on citizen science shark-tagging opportunities. Public expeditions are available to individuals, corporate groups, and private charters, where citizen scientists can work directly with the shark team during a shark-tagging expedition. 

51) University of Miami Tarpon and Bonefish Research Center: researchers from the Tarpon and Bonefish Research Center tags dozens of tarpon and bonefish in the western Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean, with high tech satellite tags. Their goal is to learn more about tarpon migration patterns throughout the region. They have since learned that bonefish often cross the Gulf Stream and end up in the Bahamas, and that tarpon can dive as deep as 500ft

The Tarpon and Bonefish Research Center received a report of a Bonefish tagged in Miami and recaptured in Andros- 186 miles away! That's an impressive record-setting swim across the Gulf Stream

52) Mote Marine Laboratory Research Charters: Mote Marine offers chartered expeditions available to the public to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help support ongoing research and conservation. As a member of the expedition you would have the chance to help catch, weigh, measure, tag, and help collect DNA samples for specific projects. Mote research currently focuses on large coastal sharks, spotted eagle rays, snook, permit, goliath grouper, snapper, tarpon, and amberjack. 

53) University of Florida IFAS Miami-Dade County Extension's Tarpon DNA Tagging Program: This Tarpon genetics recapture study is designed to support researcher by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Anglers fishing recreationally for tarpon can contribute to this study by removing a small sample of skin cells from the outer jaw of the tarpon they catch before it is released. 

An amberjack tagged for the University of Florida's Gulf of Mexico Amberjack Tagging Program

54) University of Florida Gulf of Mexico Amberjack Tagging Program: Amberjack populations are currently being monitored throughout the Gulf by the University of Florida Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences division. The amberjack in this program have a yellow, external anchor tag below the dorsal fin on the left side.

55) Gulf of Mexico Alliance Blue Crab Tagging Program: The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is a regional ocean partnership led by federal agencies, academic organizations, business, and non-profits within the five gulf states. The Blue Crab tagging program was developed by researchers from Nicholls State University to study blue crab population connectivity between estuarine and marine environments, as well as mortality and exploitation rate. 

56) Gulf of Mexico Alliance Red Snapper Tagging Program: the Red Snapper fishery is a classic example of a controversial fishery in terms of management and regulation. Researchers from the Auburn University, the University of South Alabama, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, are working in collaboration to improve red snapper stock assessments for more comprehensive and effective recreational fishery regulations. 

57)  Dolphinfish Research Program; Cooperative Science Services, LCC (private fisheries research consulting company): Initiated by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Cooperate Science Services took on this dolphin tagging program and extended it internationally, including Venezuela, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Pop-off satellite tags are used to obtain data to fully understand dolphin seasonal and temporal distribution within Gulf of Mexico, Western North Atlantic, and Caribbean Sea. 

58) The Billfish Foundation's Gulf of Mexico Marlin Tagging Competition: TBF's Annual Gulf of Mexico Marlin Tagging Competition runs from November to October of the following year, counting total numbers of blue and white marlin tagged in that timeframe. The tagging program is open to everyone but only TBF members can win. 

59) Gulf Wild's TransparenSea: Gulf Wild is a non-profit organization supporting Gulf of Mexico fisheries by promoting responsibly caught domestic seafood under their innovative conservation standards. While not a typical tagging program, the TransparenSea program is a web-based tracking system that aims to create transparency and offers consumers information about where their responsibly harvested fish came from. Each tag also provides real-time data to support scientific research, which can lead to more comprehensive fisheries management and sustainability. 

60) Texas Parks and Wildlife Red Drum Tagging: for recreational saltwater anglers, the state of Texas requires tagging red drum over 28inches. Tags are placed on the caudal peduncle (base of the tail). Additional red drum tags can be purchased as well. For more information, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. 

61) University of South Alabama Red Snapper Research: researchers from South Alabama and Dauphin Island Sea Lab have released hundreds of tagged red snapper as part of a study estimating recreational fishery mortality. The red snapper fishery is one of the most highly contentious in terms of management and enforcement; a more comprehensive understanding of fish landings is critical to streamlining management strategies and protecting the red snapper fishery. 

Researchers from the University of Miami Tarpon and Bonefish Center

West Coast (including Hawaii and Alaska)

62) Archival Tagging of North Pacific Albacore Tuna: The NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center and American Fishermen's Research Institute have partnered to develop a tagging program for albacore tuna, and have since tagged over 24,000 fish. The goals of this program are to determine the migration routes of juvenile albacore, collect data for more comprehensive stock assessments, and develop field procedures for the tagging program itself to minimize harm on the tagged fish. 

63) NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center Shark Tagging: the waters of off Southern California  provide critical habitat for pupping grounds for several different pelagic shark species, including thresher sharks, shortfin mako sharks, and blue sharks. Researchers from SWFSC have tagged these targeted species with satellite tags, external 'spaghetti' tags, and chemical oxytetracycline (OTC) marks injected in their vertebrae. 

64) Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission Regional Mark Processing Center (RMPC): the RMPC is a centrally organized database that compiles coded write tagging data for salmon and steelhead fisheries managed by different West Coast agencies. 

65) Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission PIT Tag Information Systems: PIT (Passive Integrated Transponders) tags are placed in different salmonid species, mostly Chinook salmon and steelhead, in the Columbia River Basin to monitor their anadromous (between freshwater and saltwater) movement. 

66) Tag-A-Giant (TAG): TAG is a non-profit organization created by a group of scientists and supporters with a research program at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove (CA), in cooperation with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Tuna Research and Conservation Center. The mission of TAG is to "support the scientific research, policy and conservation initiatives that promote a sustainable future for bluefin tuna." 

67) ‘ō‘io Tagging Project: The Hawaiian bonefish tag-and-release program is administered through the University of Hawaii Fisheries Ecology Research Lab and the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation. Bonefish have played an important role in ancient Hawaiian culture and have since continued to be a popular recreational and subsistence fishery. However, commercial landings have dropped dramatically. The tagging program aims to obtain more information to better understand the status of the stock for fisheries management purposes.

68) Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources DAR Ulua and Moi Fish Tagging Program: The Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), created the Ulua and Moi tagging program to better understand the conditions of the recreational Ulua (of the Jack family) and Moi (aka Pacific Threadfin) fisheries from anglers themselves, as a preliminary step to placing more effective regulations/management strategies to sustain these important fisheries. 

69) Pacific Islands Fisheries Group (PIFG) Ahi Tagging Project: PIFG launched an Ahi Tuna tagging program on the islands of Kauai and Hawaii to study the tuna species' movement and behavior once they've matures to adulthood and moved away from Hawaiian waters. The Ahi Tuna Tagging Project is in collaboration with the Large Pelagics Research Center, UMass Boston School for the Environment, and the Western Pacific Fisheries Council

70) Pacific Islands Fisheries Group (PIFG) Striped Marlin Tagging Project: PIFG's Striped Marlin Tagging Project was created in conjunction with the Large Pelagics Research Center to track Striped Marlin and through juvenile and adult stages to learn more about the distribution of the North Pacific stock under overfished conditions. This is a pilot study aimed to expand research partnerships with local commercial and recreational fleets in Hawaii and the Mariana Islands. 

71) Pacific Islands Fisheries Group (PIFG) Nearshore Tag It Project:  PIFG created "Tag It" as an entirely volunteer/citizen science based tagging project, to cover many different fishery species with one project, streamlining the tagging kits and training, and eliminating confusion over different projects with different methods. Not only does Tag It aim to get as many anglers involved as possible, but also will then provide information to scientists about the relationships within fisheries for improved management  purposes.

72) NMFS/NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Sablefish Tag Program: The National Marine Fisheries Service created this tag and release program in 1972 and has tagged over 360,000 sablefish, and revered almost 34,000 tags, in Alaskan waters so far. The data they collect from the pop-off satellite and electronic archival tags used contribute to longline surveys that help researchers learn more about migration patterns for Sablefish fishery quotas and management strategies. 

73) Southern California Surf Fish Tagging Study: The California Department of Fish and Game, along with Sport Fish Restoration, is conducting tagging studies for several important fisheries in southern California, including carbine, surfperch, yellowfin croakers, and spot fun croakers, to gain information about the status of each fish population. The data collected contribute to their Surf Fish Population Study

74) Pacific Salmon and Steelhead High-seas Tag Recovery Program: Created by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC), this high-seas salmon tagging program is focused on targeting stocks in the North Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Alaska, and Bering Sea. NPAFC places disk tags and several types of electronic data-recording tags just below the dorsal fin to document migration, distribution, and growth of anadromous salmon while they are out at sea.

75) North Pacific Albacore Tuna Electronic Archival Tagging Program: This project is a collaboration between the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) and the American Fisherman's Research Foundation (AFRF). SWFSC and AFRF created the electronic tagging program for Albacore Tuna in 2001 in response for an increased demand in detailed information about albacore distribution and migration, and life history. 

76) Sailfish Tagging in Costa Rica with Capullo Sportfishing: Researchers from Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne are with Capullo Sportfishing to study sailfish and marlin along the northwestern coast of Costa Rica, to learn more about migration patterns of these recreationally-sought after species.  

77) SPC Pacific Tuna Tagging: The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is a scientific and technical organization that supports the development of 26 countries and territories in the Pacific region. Its various tuna tagging programs, originating in 1977, make up one of the largest collaborative, comprehensive tagging programs for one of the largest commercial fisheries in the world. 

78) Shark Tagging in the Galapagos Islands: This particular tagging project is designed to study shark (mainly hammerhead, Galapagos, and whale sharks) migration patterns and habitat use in relation to environmental conditions, and identity hot spots for shark populations. Tagging is performed by free divers using long pole spears to tag sharks with acoustic and satellite tags while still in the water, to minimize stress on the animal. 

Tracking Rocky Mozzanti, the whale shark, in the North Atlantic using OCEARCH

79) OCEARCH Global Shark TrackerOCEARCH is an organization comprising of scientists from institutions and agencies all over the world. It generates and shares tracking (telemrety) and biological data for important key stone shark species, as well as providing outreach and education opportunities at the global scale. Millions of users access the information available on the OCEARCH website every year, making OCEARCH a leader in shark research and conservation outreach. 

80) The Monterey Bay/ Marine Canyon Pelagic Shark Tagging Project: the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation (PSRF) in Santa Cruz, California, has tagged over 1500 blue, shorten mako, and common thresher sharks within the Monterey Bay over the past 25 years. The PSRF created this project to study shark migration and behavioral ecology, and has also been able to shed light on the shark-finning trade. 

81) UC Davis Biotelemetry Lab Green Sturgeon Tagging in the Sacramento River: aims to better understand the spatial and temporal distribution of Green Sturgeon in the Sacramento, Rogue, and Klamath Rivers in California. This tag and release project is in collaboration with CA Department of Fish and WildlifeDepartment of Water Resources, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Yurok Tribal Fisheries Department, among others. 

82) UC Davis Biotelemetry Lab Sevengill Shark Research: In collaboration with the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, and the Aquarium of the Bay, the Biotelemetry Lab created the Sevengill shark tagging study to learn more about their pupping grounds in the San Francisco Bay. Information on seven gill habitat preferences and migration patterns are in high demand for conservation and management strategies for this important, ancient, large predatory species.  

83) UC Davis Biotelemetry Lab White Sharks Research in Guadalupe Island, Mexico: Guadalupe Island is a vital aggregation site for white sharks in the eastern Pacific, and conservation management is needed to help protect these waters. The White Shark tagging project uses acoustic transmitters to detect white shark movement, along with their depth, speed, and surrounding temperature. This project is management in collaboration with El Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas (CICIMAR), in La Paz. 

84) Global Tagging of Pacific Predators (GTOPP): GTOPP is a multidisciplinary and international collaboration of biologists, computer scientists, educators, etc. to create a comprehensive database that allows users to track marine life by combining animal and oceanographic observations. Over 22 shark species have been tagged!

85) NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center and UC Davis Biotelemetry Lab Chinook Salmon Smolt Research: This tagging program was designed to examine the survival and movement patterns of Central Valley salmonids (juvenile salmon and steelhead) through the use of ultrasonic telemetry, to reconstruct their migration pathways and learn more about how anthropogenic impacts influence their residence time, growth, and survival. 

86) Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Fish Tag Returns: the ODFW launched a tagging program focused on researching the population dynamics, abundance, movement, and exploitation of several important fishery species in the state, specifically white sturgeon. 

87) Pfleger Institute of Environment Research Swordfish Tagging Project: PIER dedicates research to learning more about the physiology and ecology of swordfish off the coast of California. The main objectives for the studies involved with tagging focus on the vertical and horizontal migration patterns, heat balance and conservation while swimming, as well as potential ecological impacts of deep-set buoy gear in southern California (vs. traditional commercial long-lining).

88) Pfleger Institute of Environment Research White Seabass Tagging Project: researchers from PIER have concurrent tagging projects focused on studying the stock structure, population dynamics, vertical migration patterns, and spawning aggregations for the White Seabass along the California and Mexico coastlines.  

89) Pfleger Institute of Environment Research Thresher Shark Tagging Project: PIER is currently focused on learning more about thresher shark rates of survivorship in both the commercial and recreational fisheries, as a product of bycatch. 

90) Pfleger Institute of Environment Research Roosterfish Tagging Program: Roosterfish is a popular game fish along the eastern Pacific. The PIER group roosterfish tagging program mainly focuses on survivorship after handling and release, as well as general movements and biology. 

91) Pacific Island Fisheries Group (PIFG) Bottomfish Tagging Project: PIFG created the Deep 7 Bottomfish Tagging Project to build on existing scientific information about important bottomfish species around the Pacific Islands and their growth and migration patterns.

92) Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Coastal Rockfish Tagging: researchers from WDFW and volunteer anglers participate in annual trips to tag rockfish along the Pacific Northwest coast. This project aims to learn more about rockfish, to contribute to population models used by rockfish fishery managers. 

The Cooperative Monkfish Tagging Study tags specimens with pink T-bar tags and a data storage tag, as shown

America's Midwest

93) Great Lakes Mass Marking Program: The US Fish and Wildlife Service created the Mass Marking Program throughout the Midwest Region to learn more about how well fish released hatcheries contribute to wild native stocks within in the Great Lakes. Tiny Coded Wire Tags (CWT's) are implanted into thousands of salmon and trout using an automated trailer known as the "AutoFish" System. 

94) Fish Tracking Project in the Manistique River Area: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) developed this tagging project to track carp within parts of the lower Manistique River to learn more about feeding and migration habits, and how they are exposed to harmful PCB's, or harsh chemicals that can be passed to humans when consuming large quantities of contaminated fish. 

95) Missouri Department of Conservation: fisheries biologists for MDC manage several different types of tagging studies focused catfish and sturgeon in lakes and streams throughout Missouri. The information they collect from tagged individuals can be used to provide a scientific basis for improved management, such as altering fishing seasons and creel limits. 

96) Michigan Department of Natural Resources Inland Waterway Survey: scientists from the states’ DNR are conducting a mark-and-recapture study using jaw tags to learn more about the walleye population in Northern Michigan. The study aims to gather information about walleye seasonal movements and distribution, and subsequent stomach content analyses.

97) Michigan Department of Natural Resources Beaver Island Archipelago Tagging Project: spearheaded by Central Michigan University and Michigan’s DNR, this tagging project is focused on learning more about the smallmouth bass population around Beaver Island and beyond.

98) Lake Superior Michigan DNR Hooking Mortality Study: scientists from the state’s Department of Natural Resources have recruited anglers on Lake Superior and Lake Huron to conduct a tagging study focused on Lake Trout mortality in regards to fishing.

99) Idaho Power Chinook Fall Flow Program: Idaho Power, a major hydroelectric company, releases hatchery rainbow trout fingerlings before stocking them in the Snake River each year, to improve sport fishing. The hatchery fish are tagged with jaw tags in order to collect information on the effectiveness of the stocking program. 

100) Colorado River Fishery Project: in collaboration with an array of government agencies and research institutions, the Colorado River Fish Project aims to protect four endangered fish species in the Upper Colorado River Basin: the Colorado pikeminnow, the humpback chub, bonytail, and razorback sucker. This is just one part of an entire comprehensive ecosystem research effort devoted to rebuilding these endangered populations.

*Note: Tagging programs listed differ in temporal and geographical span; check out the links provided for each project for more information.