Long-term retention of internal elastomer tags in a wild population of painted crayfish (Panulirus versicolor [Latreille]) on the Great Barrier Reef

Frisch, Ashley, and Hobbs, Jean-Paul (2006) Long-term retention of internal elastomer tags in a wild population of painted crayfish (Panulirus versicolor [Latreille]) on the Great Barrier Reef. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 339 (1). pp. 104-110.

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Abstract

Many crustaceans are highly exploited fisheries species, but determining the population parameters of these animals via mark-recapture techniques is problematic, primarily due to tag-loss during moulting of the exoskeleton. Recently developed internal elastomer tags may overcome this challenging problem, since they are completely encased in the tissues beneath the exoskeleton. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of internal elastomer tags in a wild population of painted crayfish (Panulirus versicolor) over an 18-month period. Seventy animals were double-tagged in the abdominal musculature, with individuality obtained using different combinations of tag colour and tag location. Forty individuals were recaptured after 6, 12 and (or) 18 months, giving an overall recapture rate of 57%. Annual tag retention was estimated to be 98%, since only one instance of tag-loss was observed, despite numerous episodes of moulting among tagged individuals. The majority of tags (95%) were easily visible, even after 18 months at liberty. Nonetheless, small reductions in tag condition were observed after the first six months (mostly due to fading and [or] fragmentation), but this did not interfere with overall tag readability. Tag condition did not decline in the following 12 months, nor did it vary with gender or tag location. It is concluded that internal elastomer tags are an effective method for marking wild crayfish over long-term periods. Given the durability of elastomer, and the capacity for individual identification of large numbers of animals, such tags may be suitable for commercial-scale fishery applications.

Item ID: 3904
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: painted crayfish; Panulirus versicolor [Latreille]; crustacea; ecdysis; elastomers/coatings; internal tag; spiny lobster; tag retention
ISSN: 0022-0981
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2009 04:35
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 10
Downloads: Total: 2
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