Protect the Costa Rican sailfish population with RFID tags.
The sailfish population in Costa Rica could be protected by using RFID tags for monitoring purposes.

I was in Costa Rica for vacation this past March. Deep sea fishing in Costa Rica is truly an awesome experience. As an avid fisherman, however, I was alarmed to hear locals expressing concern for the Sailfish population. Long liners consistently take ten Sailfish for every one Dorado. This has impacted the ability for the Sailfish to reproduce and sustain their population. Most Costa Ricans are used to plentiful Sailfish but populations have decreased quite a bit. I think it’s time for Costa Rican officials to explore the use of RFID tags to monitor and protect the treasured sailfish population.
In Oregon and Washington state, RFID tags are being used to track fish populations. The Fish and Wildlife Department has determined how to effectively monitor the Salmon and Sturgeon populations and reproduction rates. Scanning fish that are returned to the rivers allows the Department to determine:

  • Fishing seasons.
  • Fish limits.
  • Where fishing closures must be made.

Fishing in Costa Rica isn’t as closely monitored as other areas of the world. Also, long liners seem to have their way with the Sailfish population. However, I believe it is possible to have an impact with RFID tags. RIFD tags for all Sailfish caught would enable fishermen and government agencies to:

  • Keep closer track of the Sailfish population.
  • Monitor the disappearance of Sailfish.
  • Make necessary changes to fishing seasons.
  • Take a closer look at the impact that long liners are having on the industry.

If you are a fisherman and haven’t been to Costa Rica for deep sea fishing, I recommend that you go! I’ve always had the pleasure of releasing the Sailfish I’ve caught and would like others to have the chance to do the same. If RFID tags and scanners can make that possible in years to come, I think it’s time that more fisheries look into it.