Tagged fish proves its value
A RED emperor caught off Inskip Pt and tagged 10 years ago has been recaptured at the tip of Fraser Island.
Weekly fishing contributor Tony Stewart (pictured) from the Rainbow Beach Fishing Centre was the angler who first caught the red in 2004.
This week Mr Stewart was notified by Australian National Sportfishing Association that the fish he caught, tagged and released in 2004 had been recaptured more than 10 years later.
It is the longest timeframe recorded between captures of the red emperor species.
He said he is currently the second largest tagger in Queensland and had tagged more than 11,000 fish over the past 17 years on his boat Baitrunner.
Mr Stewart tagged the red emperor on June 15, 2004, near the Wide Bay Bar and it was recaptured on December 27, 2014, by a woman off Indian Head.
ANSA informed Mr Stewart about the recapture and how much the fish had developed over the 10 years.
In 2004 the emperor was around 44cm long.
When measured on recapture it had grown by 75-80cm and weighed in at 6.5kg.
Mr Stewart said the emperor had travelled around 98km north-east past Fraser Island.
"To survive in the ocean for that amount of time was no mean feat," Mr Stewart said.
Mr Stewart is an advocate of fish tagging.
"It is imperative to report a tagged species in order to gain more knowledge and study how the fish grow."
He said tagging helped researchers make new discoveries about a diverse range of fish species.
"It is a constant learning curve and will provide valuable information for years to come. Hopefully this will make other people aware of the importance of the tagging program."
Mr Stewart had caught bigger reds, some which had been tagged for about six years.
Some of those fish had moved 170km north and two weighed in at more than 8kg.
He encourages others to join him in the task of tagging for future information so that information will be of use to all fishermen in the future.