Coast KZN

05 Oct 2016

Potato bass trio tagged for tracking project

Erin Hanekom (Southlands Sun)


Fish will be tracked as they explore the wild.

Three potato bass were released into the wild with acoustic tags last week to allow scientists to track their movements.

The bass, weighing between 25 and 30kg were released in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park after many years in the uShaka Sea World reef predator exhibit.

Each fish was tagged with an acoustic tag and yellow Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) spaghetti tag.

ORI scientist, Dr Camilla Floros, who is conducting an acoustic telemetry project on potato bass and green jobfish in park, will monitor the fish in the wild.

“These tags, unlike the more traditional spaghetti tags, emit a unique ‘ping’ for each individual fish (like a cell phone number or identification number) that can be identified by underwater listening stations which have been placed at strategic locations by ORI within the park,” read a statement from uShaka.

“The listening stations can detect an acoustically tagged fish up to a radius of 300m and will provide valuable information on their natural ability to establish territories after being in captivity for a number of years.

It was great to see them swim off into the blue and I can’t wait to download the data from the listening stations next year to see if these potato bass have stayed in the area or moved off to explore new reefs,” said Dr Floros.


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