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BTT Tarpon Genetics Program – Results

Posted on March 22 2017

Bonefish and Tarpon Trust taking tarpon scale samples
This was done more than 23,000 times. Photo: Bonefish and Tarpon Trust.

The good folks from the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust just concluded their study with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in attempts to determine just how many distinct populations of Atlantic Tarpon exist around the world.

Why bother? Because a sound understanding of whether or not global populations are related makes a huge difference to how best to protect the species.

What if how tarpon populations are managed in Cuba could have an affect on the well being of tarpon populations in the Florida Keys? Well, according to BTT, they could!

After an in-depth genetic analysis of over 23,000 scale samples (that’s a lot of ‘poon) taken from tarpon caught in the Atlantic United States, the Gulf of Mexico, throughout the Caribbean Sea, and even the West coast of Africa, BTT was able to conclude that only one, yes one, distinct region wide population of Atlantic Tarpon exist. Fascinating.

These findings are a huge breakthrough in understanding the lengths necessary to protect such an incredible species at a region-wide level and we applaud the fine folks at BTT for their efforts.

To read more about their findings, and their implications to conserving future tarpon populations, be sure to give it a read on BTT’s website by clicking right here.

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