|The arrow is pointing to an|
inflated swim bladder
|A grouper showing the signs of |
Dealing with barotrauma has become as major challenge to fisheries managers. Allowing fish to simply float off after being released defeats the purpose of having regulations for minimum size restrictions and bag limits.
Several tools have been developed by researchers and fishermen to help address the issue of barotrauma.Venting involves inserting a hollow, sharpened needle into the side of a fish to release trapped gases so the fish is able to quickly return to a safe depth. Recompression involves returning a bloated fish to a safe depth with the aid of a cage, basket, or weighted hook or lip device.
Neither method is full proof or applicable in all conditions (or for all fish), but research studies have shown that when used in the right conditions venting and recompression can play an important role in reducing mortality rates associated with fish suffering from barotrauma.
Stay tuned to learn more about these efforts as there are several initiatives at the local, state, regional, and national level to investigate the continued use of the conservation tools. In the meantime if you'd like to learn more about venting and recompression visit: catchandrelease.org
|venting a red grouper|
|Returning a red grouper with a recompression device|