The CCAMLR tagging program is administered by the Secretariat which provides standardised tagging protocols and tagging equipment to fishing vessels engaged in the program. This standardisation is an essential component of the tagging program as CCAMLR uses the fisheries-based tag and recapture rates as the basis of abundance estimation for toothfish.
The Secretariat receives and stores data on all fish that are tagged and the subsequent recapture of those fish. Each recapture is linked to the tagging event in order to verify the data for use in population estimates as well as to examine movement rates and growth of fish.
CCAMLR uses a capture-recapture approach to estimate the abundance of toothfish. Vessels are required to tag and release fish during the course of their normal operations and to report all recaptures of tagged fish. The abundance of fish can then be estimated based on the assumption that the proportion of tagged fish in the total population will be the same as the proportion of tagged fish that are recorded in catches. The population can then be estimated using the total catches, the number of fish tagged and the number recaptured. The detailed requirements of the tagging program are outlined in Conservation Measure 41-01 and the outcomes of the tagging program, including the use of the data and improvement to the program are discussed extensively in the WG-FSA.
While the tagging of skates and rays as part of CCAMLR fisheries is not mandatory where tagging of these species does occur operators are required to follow the CCAMLR protocols on toothfish and skate tagging.
CCAMLR Tagging Program Equipment Ordering Information provides information on obtaining tagging equipment from the CCAMLR Secretariat.