Next week, weather permitting, scientists from the University of Massachusetts’ Gloucester-based marine research center will head out to sea from Cape Cod in search of bluefin tuna.
They won’t be looking for the giant bluefin or the babies. They’ll be searching for the juvenile bluefins. For those juveniles, swimming in their middle schools, tagging season is about to begin.
The project, being coordinated by researchers and scientists at UMass’ Large Pelagics Research Center based in Gloucester’s Hodgkins Cove, will use the latest in electronic pop-up satellite tags to help develop enough data about these teenage tuna to potentially answer questions about migratory patterns, swimming depth, growth rate, breeding and the mixing of tuna from the western and eastern fishing grounds.
“We see this project having extraordinary value in terms of providing long-term data that could help us better understand these fish,” said Molly Lutcavage, the director and research professor at the local UMass facility. “It’s immensely important.”
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