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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Tuesday 18 February 2014

New Department of Fisheries fish tagging app launched

Western Australia’s Department of Fisheries has launched a new free app that will make it easier for fishers to report the capture of tagged invertebrates and finfish directly to the department via their iPhones.

Fishers who download the FishTagWA app will be able to use their iPhones and iPads to upload pictures and details of the size, breeding status, capture location and tag number of any Department of Fisheries tagged species they catch; including rock lobsters, blue swimmer crabs, deep sea crabs, Australian herring, cobbler, pink snapper and tailor.

Well-designed, scientific fish tagging programs allow scientists to gather vital information about the growth, movement and breeding habits of some species.

This information in turn helps fisheries managers to manage fish stocks sustainably ensuring there will be fish for the future.

The app concept was developed initially for commercial rock lobster fishers to report recaptured tagged animals, but was quickly expanded to include other species tagged by the department.

Rock lobster research scientist Jason How said, “This is a great development for the Department of Fisheries and for WA fishers – it provides a much more efficient method for collecting data than solely using a paper-based system.

“It also makes it much easier for fishers to provide us with their tagged fish recapture details, giving them the opportunity to play a key role in the sustainable management of Western Australia’s fish stocks,” said Mr How.

Using the app, fishers are also given the option of receiving information about their recaptured fish or animal, such as where it was released and how far it has travelled, as well as how much it has grown.

For sending in an image and details of tagged rock lobsters, fishers will receive a lottery scratch card as a reward from the Department of Fisheries and, for recapturing and reporting tagged Australian herring, fishers can receive a cash prize up to $100.

FishTagWA is available to download for free from the Apple App store, using your iPhone or iPad. Just type “FishTagWA” into the App store search field.

More information on Fisheries Science in WA can be found online at

Last modified: 18/02/2014 12:40 PM

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