Plastic-Tipped Dart Tags
Dart tags are normally applied in such a way that the barb locks behind about the second or third leading dorsal fin ray. In elasmobranchs the barb is lodged in a cartilaginous section of the fish, usually in the body of the fish adjacent to the dorsal fin in sharks or in the "wings" of rays and skates.
The smallest diameter dart tag, PDX, is applied with an approx. 2.4-mm outside diameter applicator needle. Such tags are suited to finfish species between about 20 and 35 cm and are popular for small fish likely to undergo fast growth, such as juvenile tuna.
The larger dart tags (PDL and PDW) are applied with an approx. 3.3-mm outside diameter applicator needle. This range is suited to fish across a wide variety of sizes: the PDW tags for fish from about 35 cm up to about 55 cm and the increasingly popular "dogleg barb" PDL tag, which is for fish up to about 80 cm. These tags are very popular with recreational fish-tagging programs for a wide variety of species because of their ease of use and lower applicator unit cost.
The largest dart tags (PDA) are applied with an approx. 4.0-mm outside diameter needle and are proven performers with finfish and sharks from about 60 cm and up, including tuna, barramundi, snook, tarpon and Spanish (king) mackerel. Tags are sold 100 per pack.
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