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Throw It Back Intact
Research into the use of hand-held fish grips
The Department of Primary Industry, Fishery and Mines (DPIFM) with funding from
the Northern Territory Fishing Industry Research and Development Fund, has begun
research into the effect of mechanical fish grips on fish lifted vertically from
“We wanted to know if the use of these types of mechanical grips to lift a fish
vertically from the water is causing injuries to the spine, jaw bones or
internal organs of the fish, especially large fish over 90 centimetres long,”
Fisheries Research Scientist, Damian White said.
“Some anglers will hold a fish by its head for a photo before releasing it back
into the environment, and while we encourage the practice of catch and release,
we want to know if this type of handling is detrimental to the fish’s chances of
survival,” Mr White said.
“Fisheries officers have been out and about recently collecting fish for testing
at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre.
“These tests involve X-raying the fish while they are laid flat and X-raying
them again while they are held vertically from the jaw by mechanical grips, and
then comparing the results.
“While the research is in its infancy, early results show that gentle lifting of
fish up to 90 centimetres long, using hand-held fish grips, has not killed any
of the test fish, although it does appear to place significant stress on the jaw
and backbone,” Mr White said.
For further information about this press release please contact DPIFM Media
Officer, Matt Henger.
Phone: (08) 8999 2097