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Throw It Back Intact Research into the use of hand-held fish grips 27th October 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 the water. “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
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