Development of “Tag Tracker” software

The New Zealand Rock Lobster Industry Council (RLIC) accepted a proposal from Trophia to develop tag tracking software. “Tag Tracker” will be an internet-based database that will allow fishermen to enter the details of a tag from a captured lobster and obtain a report of its release-recapture history

The expected benefits of the “Tag Tracker” software include:

· The ability for fishermen to enter tag information directly into a central database and obtain a report at the same time. It is anticipated that this will be an incentive for more fishermen to record tag information.

· Tag deployment occurs each year as part of the industry funded required research through Ministry of Fisheries (Mfish). An increase in tag returns will result in more information on the fishery and as a result a better overall return for the cost associated with tag deployment.

· Better validation of tag data. We have found that there are often serious errors in the tag data (particularly in growth increments and positional data). These errors could be picked up at the data entry stage and the fisherman (the original recorder of the data) prompted to check the data. This will lead to better data and less wastage of information (returns with errors are currently ignored).

· This approach could provide a reduction in data entry costs since fishermen will enter their own tag information. (It may be that initially fishermen are asked to also return paper forms for data entry but that eventually this may not be required.)