About the CATAG project 

Background information

This is a Concerted Action project supported by the Directorate General XIV of the EUROPEAN COMMISSION. 

Full name: "Improvements of Tagging Methods for Stock Assessment and Research in Fisheries"
Project identification code: FAIR CT.96.1394
Duration of project:  30 months (started 1st December 1996).

Coordinating institute: Marine Research Institute, Reykjavík, Iceland.
Coordinator: Mr.Vilhjálmur Thorsteinsson

Management Committee

Dr. Geoff P. Arnold, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) UK
Prof. John Davenport, Department of Zoology & Animal Ecology, University College, Cork, IRELAND
Dr. Olav Rune Godø, Institute of Marine Research, Ministry of Fisheries, Bergen, NORWAY
Mr. Curt Insulander, Swedish Salmon Research Institute, Älvkarleby, SWEDEN.
Dr. Niall Ó Maoiléidigh, Marine Institute, Dublin 15, IRELAND.
Mr. Vilhjalmur Thorsteinsson, Marine Research Institute, Reykjavik, ICELAND


E-mail: all members of the management committee"mc-catag@hafro.is"


To improve fish tagging techniques for use in fisheries research and stock assessment. 


This project was a Concerted Action, that achieved its goals by meetings, workshops, exchange of information and facilitation of communication between researchers.  The project worked towards these objectives by collecting and collating information, discussing new ideas and making recommendations for improved procedures and further research and development. The work was achieved by workshops, meetings, assignments and surveys.  The main product is this site  on the WWW with access to an up-to-date compendium of information on all aspects of tagging, including the recommendations of the Concerted Action.  The web-site includes information for designing surveys, a section devoted to legislative and welfare aspects, manuals of tagging methods (in database format), a tagging bibliography, lists of  manufacturers of tags and tagging equipment (with access to the manufacturer’s web-site, where possible), an on-line conference section, and information on the project and participants.


Although tagging is  one of the oldest methods in fisheries research, conventional tagging experiments have many drawbacks.  They are based on assumptions that are difficult to verify and there are various uncertainties, which make the interpretation of  results difficult.  The development  and use of electronic tags over the last 25 years has, however, shown that it is possible to avoid many of these difficulties by using modern technology.  The justification for this Concerted Action is that tagging methods can be improved by standardizing methods, devising solutions to identified problems and involving the latest electronic techniques.  These improvements are expected to make tagging a much more useful in tool in fisheries research and stock assessment than it has been in recent years.
The most important activity of this project is to facilitate communication between laboratories and researchers and  to publicise the conclusions and recommendations developed during the Concerted Action.  Communication will be achieved by use of an information system on the World Wide Web.



General meetings are held with all participants and self-supported guests.
Management Committee meetings with five participants and the coordinator are called within general meetings and at other times as neccessary.
Workshops are organised within general meetings. 

Participants are divided into four work-groups which are active through the project period. Each work-group tackles problems and possible improvements within its own field and communicates its results to the other three groups.  The work-group leaders are also members of project’s Management Committee.


Four  work-groups were formed at the beginning of the first meeting. Their purpose was to work towards the main objectives of the CA: “Improvements of the methodology in fish tagging techniques with emphasis on the application in fisheries research and stock assessment” from different angles. The work-groups  have been active during the project time between meetings, communicating over the WWW.

See Work-group section of this Web-site.


Surveys are directed at three target groups:
Fisheries research institutes in Europe.
Databases of information from world wide literature surveys. 
Manufacturers of tags or tagging equipment, world wide.


Organization of a web-site for  communication and dissemination of results.
The CATAG  Web-site is used as an activity site, an instrument for the implementation of objectives, and as a medium for display of the project’s milestones, deliverables and recomendations.
This Web-site will be construction during the project period after which the Marine Research Institute will continue its maintenance for at least 5 years. It will therefore be active and useful after the CA project is finished as a tool for those who are interested and/or involved in tagging projects anywhere in the world.


Midterm reports and final reports will be shown on the web-site.



Publications of results and findings 


For more information on the project and its objectives go to Technical annex



Comments to: villi@hafro.is
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