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Billfish Babes

Dampier’s First Sat Tagged Black Marlin


Female Tags Dampier’s First-Ever Sat Tagged Black Marlin For Research

Information from Billfish Babe Tracy Brislane.

Many thanks to the major sponsor City of Karratha, for donating two IGMR sat tags to the King Bay Game Fishing Club for the opportunity to learn more about the migrating patterns of juvenile black marlin in the Dampier area. It is important we understand where these animals go and how they utilise their habitat provides invaluable data to scientists and resource managers to help ensure long-term billfish conservation. The IGMR has fundamentally changed the way that scientists, anglers, and policymakers understand billfish.

Tracy Brislane is the first person to ever have placed a sat tag into a black marlin in Dampier waters Western Australia. KBGFC is working together with IGFA and Stanford University, to learn more about billfish biology and how the fish interact within their habitat.

Due to tropical shallow waters in the Dampier Archipelago, there are big numbers of Sailfish regularly caught there but very few juvenile blacks are amongst them. What a challenge to locate a rare or random juvenile of the optimal size for tagging.

Challenge Excepted 

Committed to the task, Tracy, Olivia (daughter) & husband Leon (skipper) Boat onboard “Le Frog” Spent over fifty plus hours trolling over five trips trying to locate the right one to tag. It was on the fifth trip that they finally got a 35kg model which was perfect for the data but on all five trips, they struggled with adverse weather conditions making everything so much harder.  This fish couldn’t resist a Pakula Mini Sproket lure & also the second tag was deployed the next day by another KBGFC member.

Now Awaiting Data

The two hundred days waiting game for the data has begun with the sat tag being released into the fish on the 26th of December 2020. The outcome of this information will most certainly be very fascinating as Dampier doesn’t see many blacks over the 50kg variety but an odd 100kg model sometimes.

The question now poses “Where do they go as grow to bigger fish”?

We will just have to wait and see. Standby for the updated information to come later in the year. Meanwhile, the Brislane family are now having a little billfish break & before resuming back to tagging sailfish.

Tight lines!

Written by Marlene Hicks

Billfish Babes Founder.

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