Dorado is brought to the boat off Cabo San Lucas. Photo: Courtesy of RedRum Sportfishing
A dorado tagged and released on Dec. 13 off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, was recaptured 19 days later 500 miles south off the mainland state of Jalisco.
In that time, the year-old dorado, a.k.a mahi-mahi and dolphinfish, grew three inches and gained 8 ounces to weigh 6.5 pounds.
The distance the small fish traveled in that time, while impressive, was not as surprising as the tag being recovered by Gray Fishtag Research , which reported its findings this week.
“The recovery rate for tags in smaller fish like this is small to begin with, but the commercial fisherman who caught this fish was from a tiny Mexican fishing village that I had to look on a map to find,” Gray Fishtag scientist Travis Moore said. “He was all excited because he saw on that tag that we offer a reward for recovered tags.”
Tagged Dorado Walter swam 500 miles in 19 days. Photo: Courtesy of Gray Fishtag
The dorado was named Walter when it was caught off Cabo San Lucas by Kerri Persons aboard El Nuevo, a charter boat operated by RedRum Sportfishing .
Walter was recaptured by Hernan Ramos, a net fisherman out of San Patricio.
Gray Fishtag, a budding research company that provides tags to charter fleets around the world in an attempt to learn more about the movements of game fish, sent Ramos clothing and sunglasses.
Dorado are an extremely popular game fish, known for their brilliant colors and their acrobatics on the hook.They’re also highly prized as table fare and sought by commercial fishermen in Mexico, despite regulations that list them as a sportfishing-only species.
Sportfishing and conservation groups have been trying for years to halt what they say is an uncontrolled black market for dorado, and to persuade Mexico to enforce the commercial fishing ban.
They’re hoping that any new research about the species will help their cause.
Moore said he has heard of dorado covering 100 miles in a day, but said they’re more likely to swim about 25 miles per day if the need to travel in search of bait fish exists.
As for Walter, it’s safe to assume that he became somebody’s dinner the day he was recaptured, despite the commercial fishing ban.
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