Cobia Tagging and Respirometry

  • Cobia Surgery Staples
    Cobia Surgery Staples  Here we see a cobia with an internal tag after surgery  
  • Cobia Netting
    Cobia Netting  Dan Crear attempts to net a cobia to place it in the respirometer.  Aileen Devlin (Virginia Sea Grant)
  • Fisherman
    Fisherman  Fisherman help us catch many of the fish used in tagging and respirometery experiments.  Aileen Devlin (Virginia Sea Grant)
  • Respirometer Setup
    Respirometer Setup  Students setup the respirometer to begin the metabolism and oxygen consumption experiments  Aileen Devlin (Virginia Sea Grant)
  • Cobia Capture
    Cobia Capture  Here, a cobia is being transported from the transport tank to the holding tank in the lab.  Aileen Devlin (Virginia Sea Grant)
  • Transport Tank
    Transport Tank  Here we see volunteers taking cobia back to the lab in a transport tank.  
  • Overhead Cobia View
    Overhead Cobia View  An overhead view of the cobia in their lab holding tank  Aileen Devlin (Virginia Sea Grant)
  • Cobia Respirometer
    Cobia Respirometer  A cobia has its metabolic rate and oxygen consumption measured  
  • Internal Tags
    Internal Tags  These are the internal tags placed inside a cobia. They work in tandem with receivers to show the cobia's movements within the Chesapeake Bay.  
  • Cobia Surgery Sutures
    Cobia Surgery Sutures  A cobia has an internal tag implanted inside it to record its movements  
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Where do Virginia’s cobia come from, and where do they go in the Fall? These are two of the research questions we aim to answer through a new tagging program. We use surgically implanted tags to track the location of the Cobia so we can follow their movements throughout the year. 

If you retain a tagged fish, please find our tags inside the gut. Send them to VIMS and we’ll give you a reward! 

What do the tags look like?

The acoustic tag is the size of a chapstick and makes a ‘chirp’ that can be heard by listening stations placed in the Bay and up and down the East Coast. The archival tag, which measures depth and temperatures is like a short AAA battery. The external tag is made of a green plastic and protrudes from the bottom of the Cobia.  

Virginia MRC Permit 17-057

Cobia Respirometry

Here at VIMS, we are trying to understand the impacts of warming and low oxygen on cobia. To do that we put cobia inside a respirometer, which measures the cobia's respiration over time. While the cobia is in the respirometer, we can change the water temperature and oxygen levels to see how the their respiration changes. Based on how its respiration changes, we can determine what temperatures and oxygen levels the fish does not like and thus may avoid in the wild. This research will allow us to determine what type of habitats cobia may use in the future under a changing climate.