International Recoveries

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The Somali Bowlsouthern africa

The vast majority of over 1500 reported re-captures are within Kenyan waters, times out range from eight years to the same day. Nearly all recoveries are confined to the Somali basin and its surrounding ridges and plateaus (as seen on the map to the right).

Long range recoveries had been restricted to broadbill and marlin until the 15th of December 2006 when a sailfish was recaptured by a commercial trawler on the Atlantic Indian Ridge traveling 3923 miles then another sailfish caught in the same year off Cape Town by a Japanese long liner  (as seen on the map to the left).

Below are some of the most exciting international recoveries; among others you can see the striped marlin tagged on the Rips and re-caught off Perth, Australia traveling 5250 miles in just 195 days or the broadbill tagged on the NKB and re-caught on the Mid Indian Ridge traveling 3600 miles.


Click red marked links on map below for recovery information or go direct to Full Recoveries Information .

(Published in 2005)
Some very interesting recoveries have arisen over the last few years in the local Kenya and TZ fishing zones. Not just Billfish but Shark and more unusually Giant Trevally migrating reasonably large distances for a supposedly sedentary fish.

The accepted migration of Kenya's Pelagic fish is from the north coast down to the south throughout our season. It would be incorrect to think the fish only travel south. Many local recaptures have traveled 20 to 40 miles north, presumably following food sources. However the overall migration is southerly. The evidence from recaptured tagged billfish certainly seem to back this up.

The red arrow represents the movement of 27 recaptured sailfish. The majority were tagged off Malindi, all were re-caught along the Tanzanian coastline between October and December over a ten year period. The fastest was re-captured in southern Tanzania within 13 days of being tagged in Malindi, another took only 12 days from Malindi to Zanzibar. Most took a more leisurely 25 to 75 days with only five being out for over a year. The longest being re-caught 519 days later, or more likely it travelled in a large circuit back up towards the Arabian Sea and then back down again through Kenya and on to Tanzania. As suggested by the 2 tagged sailfish recaptured in Yemen (180 days out) and Somalia (450 days out) both caught in the month of May.

There have only been 6 reported broadbill recaptures. One tagged on the Rips and re-caught 33 days later in the same place. The rest have all been international recoveries traveling 2400 miles south to Port Elizabeth SA, south east 1500 miles to Reunion and 3600 miles to the Mid Indian Ridge, south east of Mauritius. Times out range from just over one year to three and a half years (as seen on Indian Ocean map pg.9). Only one broadbill was caught north of its original tagged position (tagged on the rips and re-captured in nets off Somalia 165 days later).

There have been 11 reported marlin re-captures, their only boundaries appear to be the Indian Ocean itself. The stars of these have been the striped marlin, five out of seven recaptures have been outside Kenyan waters. One traveled over 5250 miles to Perth, Australia in only 195 days. Another tagged on the Rips, then 3 months later re-caught 1000 miles east off the Seychelles, another was re-caught 960 miles north east on the Carlsburg ridge in 39 days. Striped Marlin have shown that they can also hang around as one did on the Rips for 44 days before being re-caught in the same place. Four black marlin make up the remaining recaptures, one was recaptured after 62 days on the Watamu banks where it was tagged, another tagged at Watamu and re-caught off Ngomeni 30 miles north a year later. Two have managed to make international water, one traveled from the Rips to Pangani, TZ in 1 year and 38 days the other traveled 1880 miles north before being re-caught off Yemen.

(published in 2004) Listed below are some of the recoveries with their journey indicated by the appropriate arrows in the map to the left.

1) This Black Marlin was tagged on the Rips. It was out for 1 year and 38 days and was recaptured off Pangani, TZ.

2) This Striped Marlin was tagged on the Rips. It was out for 37 days and was recaptured off Latham Island, TZ.

3) This Broadbill was tagged on the Rips. It was out for 3 year and 153 days and was recaptured off Southern TZ.

4) This Broadbill was tagged on the Rips. It was out for 165 days and was recaptured off Somalia.

5) This Sailfish was tagged off Malindi. It was out for 1 year and 254 days and was recaptured off Southern TZ.

6) This Giant Trevally was tagged in the Boiling Pot, retagged 10 days later still in the Boiling Pot and then recaptured 1 year and 28 days later off Pemba, TZ.

7) This Sailfish was tagged off Malindi. It was out for 120 days and was recaptured off Mafia Island, TZ.

8) The majority of local recaptures are fish that have been out for one or two years and are re-caught in the same local areas.

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