A black marlin has ventured 3005km from Port Macquarie to Papua New Guinea after being tagged in the annual Golden Lure game fishing competition.
The 40kg marlin was originally tagged by Newcastle angler Joel Abercrombie at the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club tournament on January 10 this year.
It was later recaptured by offshore subsistence fishers near Rabaul on July 7, after covering the speedy 1625 nautical mile trip in only 178 days and packing on another 10kgs.
Mr Abercrombie won the title of champion boat for the tag and release category of the Golden Lure competition, aboard The Omen boat.
DPI spokesperson said black marlin are a nomadic, highly mobile, and highly migratory pelagic fish species.
"During spring and summer juvenile black marlin migrate south from the Great Barrier Reef down along the east coast of Queensland and NSW. As the water begins to cool down in autumn, they make their way back north seeking warmer water closer to the equator," the spokesperson said.
"The behaviour of juvenile black marlin moving from the east coast of Australia and to the warmer waters of the Coral Sea and associated Pacific islands is not considered unusual or uncommon.
"What makes this recapture unique is the speed at which this fish moved north. This particular recapture travelled a very large distance in a relatively short period of time.
"The game fish tagging program has now had over 80 recaptures reported from different pacific islands including New Caledonia, PNG, Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands.
"We have even had one black marlin recaptured off the coast of Hawaii and one off the coast of Costa Rica."
Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club vice president Janeck Kaczorowski said the journey is unusual with most fish choosing to travel with the current south instead.
"This fish was discovered through the NSW DPI tagging program and without those tags we wouldn't know these things. It's difficult to know whether this is common or not," he said.
"The funny thing is that it travelled against the current which is quite weird. Most pelagic fish travel down the coast with the current and this shows how unpredictable these fish can be.
"DPI use this information to develop trends, map breeding areas and try to learn more about the fish."
Mr Kaczorowski said there has been six similarly recaptured tagged fish at this time of year and most head south to Port Stephens and Sydney.
"This brings home the importance of the tagging program to learn more about these fast moving fish which cover thousands of kilometres," he said.
"The recapture rate is low and any information we can get is fantastic. This is a particularly amazing feat from a relatively small marlin in its first few years of life.
"We can see the fish grew approximately ten kilos during the journey and there is a lot of interesting insights we can get from this."
The Golden Lure usually tags around 200 marlins over the course of a week in Port Macquarie each year, Mr Kaczorowski said.
"I'd suggest the majority of the population wouldn't have keen knowledge of the tag and release programs occurring each year. It's something that the game fishing club are really invested in and pushing," he said.
"The NSW Game Fishing Association really support this program and without local fishers we wouldn't be able to get this information.
"Hopefully it does raise some awareness that while it's a recreational sport for us, it's also about sustainability and playing a key role in scientific research of these fish. The NSW game fish tagging program is a long running program and recognised around the world."
Anglers can report the details of a recaptured pelagic fish species via the online DPI game fish recapture form HERE.
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