Marlin Tagging

white marlin


Using pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs), VIMS researchers determine marlin survival rates from longline and recreational fisheries and characterize marlin habitat use.



white marlin tagged

PSATs were used to determine marlin survival from recreational and longline fisheries.

  • Survival was higher for white marlin caught on circle hooks (100%) than those caught on straight-shank or "J" hooks (65%).
  • White marlin caught as bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries postrelease survival rates were 63-89%, supporting the use of release requirements to reduce fishing mortality.
  • Postrelease survival rates for blue marlin caught in pelagic longline fishing gear were estimated at 77.8%, which is comparable to recreational fishery survival rates.




Habitat Use

PSATs were attached to 47 white marlin in 2002 and 2004.

  • Dive data indicated that white marlin spend almost half of their time in near-surface waters.
  • Two types of dive patterns were observed: short, deep dives and longer, depth-targeted dives.

Marlin Dive Profile

White marlin dive pattern depth and temperature profile



Graves, J.E., B.E. Luckhurst, and E.D. Prince. 2002. An evaluation of pop-up satellite tags for estimating postrelease survival of blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) from a recreational fishery. Fishery Bulletin 100: 134-142.

Horodysky, A.Z., and J.E. Graves. 2005. Application of pop-up satellite archival tag technology to estimate postrelease survival of white marlin (Tetrapturus albidus) caught on circle and straight-shank ("J") hooks in the western North Atlantic recreational fishery. Fishery Bulletin 103: 84-96.

Horodysky, A.Z., D.W. Kerstetter, R.J. Latour, and J.E. Graves. 2007. Habitat utilization and vertical movements of white marlin (Tetrapturus albidus) released from commercial and recreational fishing gears in the western North Atlantic Ocean: inferences from short-duration pop-up archival satellite tags (PSATs). Fisheries Oceanography 16(3): 240-256.

Kerstetter, D.W., and J.E. Graves. 2006. Survival of white marlin (Tetrapturus albidus) released from commercial pelagic longline gear in the western North Atlantic. Fishery Bulletin 104: 434-444.

Kerstetter, D.W., B.E. Lukchurst, E.D. Prince, and J.E. Graves. 2003. Use of pop-up satellite archival tags to demonstrate survival of blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) released from pelagic longline gear. Fishery Bulletin 101: 939-948.