Back to Participant area




Concerted Action

"Improvements of Tagging Methods for Stock Assessment and Research in Fisheries"

FAIR. CT.96.1394 (PL.96.1394),
















Concerted Action

"Improvements of Tagging Methods for Stock Assessment and Research in Fisheries"

FAIR. CT.96.1394 (PL.96.1394),






Contract N°: FAIR. CT.96.1394 (PL.96.1394),

Total Cost: 384,000.- ECU

EC Contribution: 384,000.- ECU

Starting date: 01.01.1997

Duration: 24 months

EC contact:DG XIV/C.2

WWW information:


Mr. Vilhjalmur Thorsteinsson,

Marine Research Institute,

Skulagata 4, IS-121 Reykjavik,


Telephone: +354-552 0240,

Telefax: +354-562 3790,





Dr. Geoff P. Arnold,

Centre for Environment,

Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)

Lowestoft Laboratory,

Lowestoft, Suffolk-NR33 OHT,


Telephone: +44-1502-524 354 (524241),

  • Telefax: +44-1502-524 511,
  • E-mail:

    Prof. John Davenport,

    University Marine, Biological Station,

    Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, KA28, OEG, Scotland,


    Telephone: +44-1475530681,

  • Telefax: +44-1475 530581,


  • Federico Borghini, SDC -

    System Data Centres 3,

    Newton Avenue, London W3 8AJ -


  • Telephone: +44-410410387,

  • Telefax: 44-1818960886,


    Mr. Curt Insulander,

    Swedish Salmon Research Institute,

    S - 814 94 Älvkarleby,


    Telephone: +46 2677153 or 46 2677150 (general),

    Telefax: +46 2677160,


    Dr. Olav Rune Godø,

    Institute of Marine Research,

    Ministry of Fisheries, Nordnesgt. 30,

    5024 Bergen,


    Telephone: +47 55238500,

    Telefax: +47 55238687,


  • Mr. Tapani Pakarinen,

  • Finish Game and Fisheries Research Institute,

    Pukinmaenaukio 4, P.O.Box 6,

    FIN - 00721 Helsinki,


    Telephone: +358 2057511,

    Telefax: +358 205751201,


  • Dr. George Tserpes,

    Institute of Marine Biology of Crete,

    P.O.Box 2214, 71003 Iraklion,


    Telephone: +30 81393298,

    Telefax: +30 81241882,


  • Mr. Johannes Sturlaugsson,

    Institute of Freshwater Fisheries,

    Vagnhofda 7, 112 Reykjavik,


    Telephone: +354 5676400,

    Telefax: +354 5676420,


  • Dr. Etienne Baras,

  • Laboratory of Fish Demography and Aquaculture,

    10 Chemin de la Justice, B - 4500 Tihange,


    Telephone: +32 85214869,

    Telefax: +32 85230592,


    Dr. Gisli Jonsson,

    Veterinary Office for Fish Diseases,

    Institute for Experimental, Pathology,

    Keldur v/Vesturlandsveg, IS-112 Reykjavik,


    Telephone: +354-567 47 00,

    Telefax: +354-567 39 79,


  • Mr. Sigmar Gudbjornsson,

    Engineer manager,

    Star Oddi Ehf, Grandagardur 5,

    IS-101 Reykjavik,


    Telephone: +354 551 3444,

  • Telefax: +354 551 3480,


    Dr. Gianna Fabi,

    Instituto di Ricerche, Sulla Pesca Marittima,

    CNR, Largo Fiera della Pesca,

    60125 - ANCONA,


    Telephone: +39 712078825,

    Telefax: +39 7155313,


  • Dr. Tor G. Heggberget,

  • Norwegian Institute for Nature Research,

    Tungasletta 2, N -

    7005 Trondheim,


    Telephone: +47 73580500,

    Telefax: +47 73915433,


  • Dr. Stig S. Pedersen,

    Danish Institute for Fisheries.

    Research Department of Inland Fisheries,

    Vejlsoevej 39, DK - 8600 Silkeborg,


    Telephone: +45 89213141,

    Telefax: +45 89213150,


    Mrs. Josianne Støttrup,

    Danish Institute for Fisheries Research,

    North Sea Centre, DK - 9850 Hirtshals,


    Telephone: +45 33963215,

    Telefax: +45 33963260,


  • Dr. Niall Ó Maoiléidigh,

    Fisheries Research Centre,

    Abbotstown, Dublin 15,


    Telephone: +353 18210111,

    Telefax: +353 18205078,


    Mrs. Marianne Holm,

    Institute of Marine Research,

    Ministry of Fisheries,

    P.O. Box 1870 - Nordnes, 5024 Bergen,


    Telephone: +47 55236892,

    Telefax: +47 55236901,



    Management Committee

    Dr. Geoff P. Arnold, UK. Chairman of work-group on electronic tagging

    Prof. John Davenport, UK. Chairman of the work-group on animal wellfare and legislation

    Dr. Olav Rune Godø, NORWAY. Chairman of the work-group on data analysis and modelling

  • Mr. Curt Insulander, SWEDEN. Chairman of the work-group on conventional tagging

    Dr. Niall Ó Maoiléidigh, IRELAND..

  • Mr. Vilhjalmur Thorsteinsson, ICELAND. Coordinator


    To contact all members of the management committee simultaneously, E-mail: "":















    Main Objectives


    Improvements of the methodology in fish tagging techniques with emphasis on the application in fisheries research and stock assessment.


    Intermediate Objectives

    I) Conduct a survey among European fisheries research institutes to assess:


    II) To achieve improvements of the methodology and techniques of tagging by:





    TASK 1: Meetings (Management Committee Meetings, General Meetings and Workshops)


    Meetings held in the first half of the project period


    Management committee meetings

    At the Management Committee meetings the work of the project was planned and decisions were taken on the time frame and agendas for the general meetings. Decisions and recommendations of the MC group are shown in Annex XX.


    General meetings

    General meetings are divided into general sessions and work-group activity. Most of the time was devoted to work-group activity.

    The agendas for the general meetings are shown in Annex XXX


    General sessions

    These dealt with problems and decisions that concerned all participants



    Four work-groups were formed at the beginning of the first meeting. Their purpose was to work on different aspects of the CA. The work-groups have been active during the project time in between meetings communicating over the WWW.


  • Group A, dealing with conventional tagging (ID tags)

    Chairman: Curt Insulander

    Others: Dr. Stig S. Pedersen, Mrs. Josianne Stoettrup, Mr. Vilhjalmur Thorsteinsson

    Group B, dealing with electronic tagging, telemetry and data logging tags

    Chairman: Dr. Geoff Arnold.

    Others: Mr. Sigmar Gudbjornsson, Dr. Tor G. Heggberget, Mr. Johannes Sturlausson,

    Dr. Niall Ó Maoiléidigh, Mrs. Marianne Holm.

    Group C, dealing with general fish health and behavior change encountered in tagging

    procedures and legislation which affect tagging

    Chairman: Prof. John Davenport.

    Others: Dr. Gianna Fabi, Dr. Etienne Baras, Dr. Gisli Jonsson.

    Group D, dealing with data analysis and modeling

    Chairman: Dr. Olav R. Godö.

    Others: Federico Borghini, Mr. Tapani Pakarinen, Dr. George Tserpes.

  • The first two groups are directly concerned with tagging methods, the problems and possible improvements in the methodology of applying them. The objectives oft the last two groups are concerned with aspects which apply to all kinds of tagging. The intermediate objectives of Group C, to obtain knowledge of how to avoid possible health and behavior change of tagged fish and to survey legislation on tagging which is used by various European countries. Group D has the difficult task of surveying literature for methodology in data analysis and modeling which applies to all aspects of tagging.

    To ensure that the four groups are not duplicating activity by doing the same things the leaders interchange work- schedules and participants.


    There are important categories of tagging and marking methods which the work-groups will not deal with, like tagging or marking with chemicals or genetic tagging or marking. They will only be briefly mentioned. It is not the scope of this CA to review all tags or tagging methods but rather to find important ways of improving methodology.







    TASK 2: Surveys


    Surveys directed to institutes

    The objectives of this sub-task were originally to conduct a survey among European fisheries research institutes to assess: the past, present and future use of tags, opinions of scientists of the reliability of tagging methods, how data from tagging experiments is analyzed, which models used among various research institutes, where improvements are needed and how they could be achieved, information exchange of methods and results, amongst and within various European laboratories, sources of equipment and materials for tagging.

    Considerable effort was made by all working groups during the first General meeting to construct a questionnaire which would cover this information request. The outcome of that was a document so voluminous that it was feared that sending it to various institutes it would be difficult and time consuming to get it back with all the information.

    It was thought to be a better idea to have a smaller questionnaire and more interactive surveys

    Furthermore, some of the sub-tasks above such as; past present and future, reliability, data analysis and the use of models have been shown to be just as well carried out by the work groups reflecting on their own experience, discussions and literature surveys. This has been sufficient to form the main structure of the web-site and to prepare structure of other deliverables such as basis of final report and publications.



    The first overall survey effort has been partitioned into smaller ones which address:




    The surveys directed to institutes is to make researcher in as many institutes as possible aware of this CA project and the CATAG web-site and to get them to use it for their benefit. To establish more contacts. To get more methods for the methods database. To find more gray zone literature.

    The effort which was put into making survey forms and the questionnaire has not been in vain because the ideas and forms will be used in one way or another during and after the project period. The actual surveys of institues will be carried out in the second part of the CA when the web site is in a better shape to recieve the attention and information which will be directed to it.

    Recent advances in world-wide electronic communication makes it feasible to conduct many sorts of survey over the WWW: makes it possible to saving a lot of time and money. Although the surveys were originally planned to go by surface mail we are now looking at the possibility to conduct them all over the WWW. For that purpose there already exists a survey section on the CATAG web-site.



    Literature surveys

    All of the work-groups have used literature surveys at one point or another to obtain necessary information in the field. These surveys have covered both published literature which is already in easily accessible databases such as Aquatic abstracts and also the so-called gray literature or reports and institutes’ working papers which are not in search able databases but ar not less important.

    On the CATAG web-site databases with the literature refences which have been found by the groups will be under the option "References in tagging".


    Manufacturers of tags or tagging equipment

    On the CATAG web site "" a special side page has been made for Producers and suppliers of tags and tagging. This is composed of list of the names of companies, their representatives and short list of what they offer. Most of the entries have links to the companies and their contact person. This solution is in many ways better than a survey. Information obtained through a survey would soon be out of date. Most companies have web-sites with information on their company and the products. By having a link to each company one has at hand easy access to the newest information at any point in time.




    TASK 3: Electronic Communication Links and the construction of a Web-site on the WWW


  • 3.3 Establishment of communication links between experts with E-mail.
  • One of the first tasks which was carried out in the CA project was to organize a common platform for messages. This was done by making E-mail lists. By E-mail it is easy to link many addresses to one single address This way one can distribute messages quicker to many persons at the same time in stead of repeating the message to each of them.


    At the beginning fax numbers were included in these lists to ensure that the messages would get to each partner if the E-mail method of communication would fail. The main problem with this arrangement was that a lot of paper was very often unnecessarily wasted, faxing small messages many times and problems were encountered when sending attachments. After a trial period the fax numbers were eliminated from each mailing-lists but one separate mailing-list with all the fax numbers is kept aside in case it would be needed.

    This communication system was constructed and maintained by Gunnar Orvarsson at the Computer-department of the Directorate of Fisheries in Iceland. The Host of the E-mail system is the sever at the Marine Research Institute in Iceland


    The Web-site

    Organization of a web-site for communication and dissemination of results.

    The organization and construction of the web-site was one of the main activities of the coordinator in 1997. A post graduate student Mr. Bjorn Knutsson, was employed by MRI, for 6 months in 1997. From September to November 1997 his duties were to carry out the basic construction of the CATAG Web -site. In May, 1998 he worked part time on the CATAG Web-site. He is now working full time at Icelandic Freezing Plants Cop (IFPC).

    Some parts of the web-site like the database connections needed programming in CGI. This was done by the computer staff of the Directorate of Fisheries in Iceland.


    The CATAG Web-site is used as an activity site, an instrument for the implementation of objectives and as a medium for displaying of the project’s deliverables. It will be in construction during the project period. After the CA project is finished the Marine Research Institute in Iceland may continue its maintenance for some years given that an agreement or contract can be made between Marine Research Institute of Iceland, the rest of the partners of the CA and the EC. This is a minor but necessary formality.

    If these future arrangements can be made, The CATAG Web-site will be very useful after the CA project is finished as a tool for researchers who use tagging experiments or are involved in tagging projects anywhere in the world and for those who are interested in this kind of work like many fishermen are.


    Change of emphases in some of the intermediate objectives

    Important comment was made by referees and EC staff that more emphases should be made on models in the project than was originally planned. The coordinator and management committee of the CATAG tried to adjust for this in the Technical Annex. A special work-group was devoted to the models. The members of the Models group are on out-look for a model - orientated person (mathematical models oriented, with respect to tagging), for advise and to participate in the last general meeting or the meeting that will be during the second half of the CATAG project.

    The increased emphases on data analysis and models will definitely need more money and time.


    There has also been more emphases on the web-site than was anticipated. In last few years and not least in the pre-project and project period of the CATAG the importance of the WWW has increased and is used by more and more people everyday. It has changed from being used by rather few scientists to be a must and something that can not be avoided and a very exciting tool with unlimited possibilities.


    It is there fore understandable that we ask that we will be allowed to change from very much survey orientated approach in the first objectives to give more to the use of the CATAG web-site which we hope will be a very useful tool in the future and to analysis and modeling. Surveys will still be conducted but with a different ...







    The deliverables of the CA project will be


    The results of the CA project will be represented as the status and work-plans of the work-groups and the status up the CATAG Web-site.


    Status of work-groups


    Group A, conventional tagging or tagging with "identification tags"

    Chairman: Dr. Curt Insulander,

    Dr. Stig S. Pedersen, Mrs. Josianne Støttrup, Mr. Vilhjalmur Thorsteinsson


    Conventional tags.

    For the purpose of this project conventional tags (ID-tags) are defined as simple external or internal tags which may be numbered and which are attached or injected into the individual fish. These may be T-bar, Carlin or Coded Microwire Tags (CWTs). External marks such as fin clipping, branding or injecting fluorescent marks are also defined as conventional tags. All other tags and marks, such as chemical, genetic or electronic tags are hereby defined under unconventional tags (The name conventional tagging was thought to be misleading as all tagging methods will be conventional if they are used long enough. A better name was thought to be "identification tags" or ID-tags).


    The responsibility of this group for the first half of the project time was the development of a draft of an on line manual on tagging methods and to produce one or two examples of entries for circulation to all participants in the CA prior to the second meeting in February 1998.

    The group also surveyed the problems which are encountered using these methods and looked for improvements for example by cooperating with other the groups


    The need to identify individual fish or groups of fish is a basic requirement in fisheries science. This has led to the development of a myriad of tag types and applications depending on the purpose of the exercise, the species and size of the individual fish and the number of tagged individuals required for the study. The development in search of a perfect tag or mark is ongoing and the use of double tagging techniques underlies the conflicts arising from information requirements on the one hand and practical applications (permanency, identifiable, recognizable, effect on fish behaviour, etc) on the other.


    The deliverables from this group will be the database structure for tagging methods and information on tag types on the CATAG Web-site. It was not the intention of this group to re-review conventional tags and marks but rather to point out where to find such literature. An extensive literature is available with good reviews such as Nielsen, 1992 and Parker et al., 1990. Instead the work was focused on the establishment of a databases of methods and tag types, which included short but comprehensive details on each tag or marking method and where possible examples of their uses.



    During the intermediate period, the group conducted a literature survey on the subject of conventional tags and a reference list is in production. At the meeting in Crete, in February 1998, the group presented a draft structure for a database on tagging methods, based on a logical sequence of data, which is easy to use for selecting appropriate methods. The draft was accepted and the discussion made about ongoing work of filling in the data. Some modifications may be necessary as the work with including the data on the different tags proceeds.


    To achieve the objectives for the Concerted Action, areas of improvement for conventional tags was reviewed through the establishment of a database, whereby the pros and cons of the different conventional tags could be distinguished. The basic work for this database is described above. This database will replace a manual and is the means chosen by this group to improve inter-laboratory information in a form in which both laboratories with and without experience can participate. Further, such a database will be available to all European research laboratories, the only requirement being access to the Internet.


    An inherent problem with tagging in general is the recapture or retrieval of these tags. Conventional tags suffer from the problem of high tag-losses and failure to report retrieved tags and some of these problems also appear with unconventional tags. Some marking methods require fishing surveys by the institute responsible for the tagging exercise to retrieve the marked individuals, others rely on returns from the commercial and recreational fisheries.



    Pros and cons of various ID-tags


    External tags are the oldest and most widely used techniques for identifying individual or groups of fish and have been extensively reviewed (Nielsen, 1992; Parker et al., 1990). It is not the intention of the project to re-review this area. From the existing literature, the following advantages and disadvantages of using external tags can be summed up.



    Numbered tags enable scientists to identify individual fish

    Cheap (may be cost effective)

    Easy and fast to apply

    Useable for a large range of sizes

    Applicable to large numbers of fish

    Provides large numbers of returns and enough data for statistical analysis

    Easily detected

    Facilitates tag returns from recreational and commercial fisheries, giving a broader geographical and seasonal distribution after returns.

    Long tag-retention time

    Large surface provides space for printing information



    Return rates

    Limited information

    May affect growth and health

    Fouling problems

    May become entangled

    Tag losses may be high

    May be difficult to apply to very small fish



    External marks

    External marks have been used extensively, primarily for marking large numbers of individuals for identifying different populations of fish. The advantages and disadvantages in relation to the external tags are listed below.



    Does not effect fish growth and behaviour

    Cheaper and in certain cases faster to apply

    Suitable for a broader range of sizes



    A group mark, individuals cannot be identified

    No returns from commercial or recreational fisheries

    Limited number of group marks available

    Possibility of recognition errors

    Mark recognition may deteriorate with time


    Internal tags

    The need to develop individual tags which would not effect fish behaviour or health led to the development of internal tags which could be injected in fish. The most widely used tag is the Coded Wire Tag (CWTs). These are small pieces of magnetized stainless steel, which may contain a binary code. The CWTs are injected into the fish in various parts of the body.

    In order to recognize tagged fish it may be necessary also to mark the fish externally. If the fish are not marked externally they can be recognized from a sample of fish using a magnetic detector.

    The CWTs need to be extracted from to individual for identification.

    The only other type of internal (conventional type of) tag that has been used extensively is the Visible Implant (VI). VI tags are small flat plastic tags, and may contain codes or numbers for individual identification. VIs are internal tags injected to a place in the fish where they are visible externally.



    Little effect on growth and health

    Suitable for broad size-range

    High retention rates

    With suitable equipment large numbers of fish may be tagged

    Individual recognition possible



    Expensive equipment required (CWTs)

    Expert personnel needed (CWTs)

    Tagging and recovery of specimens may be labour intensive (CWTs)

    Tag retrieval and identification are labor intensive (CWTs)

    Tag migration in specimens reduces probability of recognition







    Group B - electronic tagging, telemetry and data logging tags

    Chairman: Dr. Geoff Arnold

    Mr. Sigmar Gudbjornsson, Dr. Tor G. Heggberget, Mrs. Marianne Holm, Dr. Niall Ó Maoiléidigh, Mr. Johannes Sturlaugsson.


    At the first CATAG meeting in Reykjavik, Group B agreed to undertake ten tasks, eight of which would be addressed in 1997. Discussion of future needs and ways of sustaining electronic tag development in the future were deferred until 1998. Each member of the group undertook to write a section of the report and to circulate it to their colleagues prior to the second general meeting in February 1998. This aim was largely achieved and the group arrived in Crete with drafts of seven sections and a substantial amount of supporting material. The texts were discussed in detail during the Crete meeting and decisions taken with respect to the inclusion of additional material. Following discussion with Groups A, B and C, it was agreed to transfer material on the effects of anesthesia and surgery to the chapter on fish health in Group C’s report and to include some modelling material that was more appropriate to Group B than Group D. Group B made some progress towards proposing objectives for future research and development, although this process will continue through 1998 and will not be completed until after the last general meeting in October. A further task list was defined, including exchange of information on specific topics, and it was agreed that members would return modified versions of their section of the report to the group chairman by 31 March 1998.


    In its current form, Group B’s report is structured under the following main headings:



    Two further sections of the report remain to be written following discussions at the final general meeting in Ancona in October:




    Group C, general fish health and behavior change encountered in tagging procedures and legislation which affect tagging.

    Chairman: Prof. John Davenport

    Dr. Gianna Fabi, Dr. Etienne Baras, Dr. Gisli Jonsson.


    Progress report of working group on impact of tagging on fish health and behavior and legislation concerning fish tagging.


    Impact of tagging on fish health and behavior



    Legislation which affect tagging



    1. Introduction This sets the scene, explaining that legislation impacts on the performance of tagging and on the publication of results.

    2. Fish tagging and the law This describes the background to the development of legislation concerned with prevention of cruelty to animals, and specific laws relating to animal experimentation. It then goes on to describe specific national legislation and its relevance to fish tagging of various types. At present the picture is complete for the following countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Iceland, Spain, UK Legislation is available for Austria, but requires translation. Plans are in hand to obtain legislation from Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal and Israel by the end of March 1998. It was decided that a copy of the EU Directive governing animal welfare should be obtained.

    3. Tagging of organisms other than fish This section is short, and considers bird-ringing plus tagging of marine mammals and turtles. It is included for its useful lessons.

    1. Recommendations Six recommendations have been made, either to improve legislation or to help in its interpretation.



    On the CATAG Web-site there is a special option "Legislation" which opens up the draft of the report on Legislation which has been prepared by this group.




    Chairman: Dr. Olav R. Godø. Federico Borghini, Mr. Tapani Pakarinen, Dr. George Tserpes.


    The main points related to the analysis and modelling of tagging data were discussed and classified in the following areas:


    The scientific contributions on the above subjects are being reviewed through a literature research. Relevant references will be classified according to the above mentioned categories in order to evaluate "state of the art". In addition this information will be used to identify fields needing further development. An effort will be also made to obtain as much information as possible from the so-called "gray literature" particularly on modelling/analysis tools applied in the ICES assessments.



    Work notes on progress of work of Group D

    Workplan 1997-1998






    Work areas:

    1. Evaluation and amendment of raw data
    2. Positioning
    3. Fish behaviour and environment
    4. Tagging and direct assessment
    5. Modelling of behavioural effects on survey assessment
    6. Modelling of fish migration.



    1. Evaluation and amendment of raw data
    2. Tag types: All

      Goals: Control of recovery position

      Control of recovery time

      Data modelling (DST)


      Compare release and recapture position

      Time series smoothing and expansion

    3. Positioning
    4. Type of tags: DST

      Goal: To use recordings of environmental variables to estimate position


      Modelling of light data

      Modelling of tidal current profiles and depth distribution of fish

      Probability modelling incorporating and comparing environmental data (t, s, depth) from tag with multi dimensional (lat, lon, depth, time, variable) hydrographic model.

    5. Fish behaviour and environment
    6. Type of tags: DST

      Goal: To understand fish movements in relation to environment


      Time series modelling


      Data split by seasonal, area etc. characteristics

      Comparative analyses between individuals which are present at the same place simultaneously.

    7. Tagging and direct assessment
    8. Type of tags: Conventional, electronic?

      Goal: Direct estimation of abundance


      Tag types

      Tagging strategies

      Tagging mortality


      Return rates - mortality models

    9. Modelling of fish behavioural effects on survey assessment
    10. Type of tags: DST

      Goal: To use tagging data to assess variation survey efficiency


      Trawl efficiency and temperature, light etc.

      Activity patterns and environment

      -Measured in tag

      -Measured by other means

    11. Modelling of fish migration.

    Type of tags: All

  • Approach/problem:
  • Positioning

    Consistency among individuals

  • Electronic Communication Links and the CATAG Web-site


    Establishment of communication links between experts with E-mail


    To facilitate the work and communication among the partners and within groups it is useful to be able link many addresses to one single address. This way one can distribute messages quicker to many persons simultaneously in stead of repeating the message to each of them. This can easily be done by E-mail systems. The E-mail addresses of the partners were grouped in the following way.


    "": for all partners

    "": for all members of the management committee

    "": for members of the working group of conventional tagging

    "": for members of the working group of electronic tagging

    "": for members of the working group of health and legislation

    "": for members of the working group of data analysis and models use

    "": can be used to send fax to all partners through the E-mail system


    This E-mail system has been very useful. When the conference section was constructed on the web-site the majority of partners still preferred to use the system above.


    Progress of the CATAG Web-site

    This web-site is still under construction but active and can be accessed on the WWW under ><. It is in several sections and subsections most of which are open to general public. Some sections are only accessible by passwords because they are working areas for partners.


    Authors of the web-site are Vilhjalmur Thorsteinsson, Marine Research Institute and Bjorn Knutsson, present working address at Icelandic Freezing Plants Corporations (IFPC), Reykjavik, Iceland.


    Description of the CATAG Web-site


    The following options are on the first or central page.

    Internal structure of each option



  • Background information on the project with objectives. For further information on the CA project and its tasks there is a link to the Technical Annex of the CA-project.
  • CATAG progress reports

  • This option will open a list of reports from where there are links to full text reports of the project activities. These reports will be in the work area, where they are only accessible by a password, until they have been edited to the Management Committee’s satisfaction.
  • Legislation

  • This option presents the outcome of a search which was carried out by the working group on health and legislation. This has entries of the legislation that applies to tagging in European countries. The survey showed that tagging is affected by legislation in most of the European countries. Most of the time the legislation were sensible guidelines of how to handle experimental animals but at times these do not seem to make very much sense.

    It is very useful both for research and administration to be able to access all these legislation in one place.

  • Producers and suppliers of tags

  • This option opens a list of all known producers of tags and tagging equipment with access (links) to their web-sites if they have one. Any producer of tags and tagging related products can have their company name, name of contact person, a short list of their products and a link to their web-sites on this part of the CATAG web-site. They must send the appropriate information to the coordinator of the CATAG project.

    This part has been active since September 1997. Some producers have already illustrated catalogs and ordering forms on their linked web-sites.

  • Project participants

  • This option leads to a list of participating institutes and the representatives of these institutes or SMEs. Name of each representative has (or can have) a link to personal home pages of theirs. Each name of an institute has also links to its home-pages for further information.
  • References in tagging (not finished)

  • This option opens up a list of Databases with references on various kinds of tagging.
  • Surveys (not finished)

  • This part is being developed as a tool for conducting surveys over the WWW. The final version should be such that it could be sent as an attachment to recipient and after he (or she) has submitted it will go back and the contents will enter a database for the survey data.
  • Tagging methods (not finished)

  • This option opens up a list of On-line manuals of tagging procedures.

    These databases can be searched with keywords. Entries can be added by sending in ideas to the coordinator or editor of the CATAG web-site. This part is open for entries but the entries must be edited by the Steering Committee before acceptance.

  • Tags released

  • This option opens up a tool which can, for instance, help to trace a tag to the institute which released it. Here it is also possible to get information, such as, how many fish have been released by a certain institute.

    Because the data will be with each institute of origin, these are by definition decentralized databases.

    On the second level there is a list of institutes which have links to information on tags they have released. There is also information for those who want to link their databases on tags they have released.

    The link makes a search for a particular id of a tag legend and number and can also find ranges of id numbers of tags.

    This facility can aid the handling of tags which are found. It is especially useful for tracing tags found by other nationals. The information exchange concerning such tags could be done through the E-mail system. Access and maintenance will be the responsibility of each institute.

    An important feature of this is that the search is done each time on the actual database. The information is therefore always up to date because newly entered data can also be searched as soon as it has entered the database.

    The Icelandic part of this which has been active for some time has both an Icelandic language section and an English language section. It has been useful both for outsiders who want to know something about a tag they have found and also for the staff of the MRI if they want to refresh their memory of what has been done in tagging and can even be used in reporting.

    Advantage to such a search facility on the WWW

    This search facility is useful in many ways.


  • Moreover many institutes send out annually documents where their tagging experiments are listed with legends and number ranges. These lists are more or less out of date when they reach the destination. When a foreign tag is found one has to find these documents which are not always at hand.
  • Various links

  • This option opens a list of various links which could be useful but do not fit in with other material of the web-site.
  • Work-groups

  • This option opens a page with information about the work-groups such as:

    the objectives and tasks of each group, the participants in each group, how to get messages to the groups, etc.

  • Conference board

  • This option has facilities for conferencing on the home-page. At this stage it is accessible only by password.
  • Work area

  • This option opens a special work area for the participants. It includes information and unfinished reports which are still being edited and scrutinized by the partners.

    As this project is a Concerted Action, it must achieve its goals by meetings, workshops, exchange of information and facilitation of communication between researchers. The project works towards these objectives by collecting and collating information, discussing new ideas and making recommendations for improved procedures and further research and development. The work is achieved by workshops, meetings, assignments and surveys. The main product will be a 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 will include information for designing surveys, manuals of tagging methods (in database format), a bibliography of tagging, 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.




    In stead of another general meeting after the one in Ancona the plan is to have at least one meeting per each work-group in the period, November 1998 to May 1999, as needed to finish the various tasks of the project. This may though depend on the financial status of the project.



    Literature surveys by each work-group to continue as needed. The resulting information to be attached to approprate places on the CATAG Web-site by October 1998.

    Surveys to research institutes in Europa, will be carried out by September 1998. Will serve to get further information, make contacts with researchers, introduction of reseachers in tagging work to the use of the CATAG Web-site.


    CATAG Web-site

    During the work period of the project the CATAG-web-site is an instrument for communication and for displaying the deliverables while the partners are working on them.

    The future of the web site is that it will become a tool useful for researchers all over the world who work in tagging experiments.

    All sections of the Web-site need to be worked on during the project period. After the project period is over it is necessary to have an active group who involved with the maintenance and changes. This group should be the partners of the Concerted Action.

    The maintenance and updating of the web-site must be done at one place. It is natural that its homebase should be maintained at MRI. A contract should be drawn on how to run the CATAG web-site after May 31st, 1999. The MRI offers takes over the running of the CATAG web-site after the project period is finished, provided a contract is in place which is agreed on by the participating institutes of the CATAG and European Community.


    Plans for the web-site changes


  • This will continue to serve as an introduction to the CATAG-web-site
  • CATAG progress reports

  • All reports and progress reports which concerne the web-site will be in this section.
  • Legislation

  • This will be a very usfull part of the web site and probably the only place where legislations which concerne tagging in many countries can be looked up in one place.

    This section will need to be looked after and more information on legislation added to it as time goes on. It is quite possible that this sectin will be used when in the future reforms are made on tagging legislations.

  • Producers and suppliers of tags

  • This part has been active since September 1997. Some producers have already illustrated catalogs and ordering forms on their linked web-sites. Producers will gradually see the potentials in this part and it will be useful for all those who are buying tags or equipment.
  • Project participants

  • Is useful through out the project period for information on partners. When the project period is over partners may increase to all those who are interested in participating in the continuations of the activities which were initiated during the project period or as contacts for those who want to exchange information on tagging related matters. New addresses have to be added continuously and others deleted.
  • References in tagging

  • Some reference lists are already in shape to be linked to this section. These are the products of work-group activities and reflect the sources of their information. These databases need to be linked to this section before the end of November 1998. After the project period there is considerable wok in adding information to these databases.
  • Surveys

  • The survey section will be used during the second part of the CA.
  • Tags

  • Entries will be made from pictures of tags. Information on existing tags will continue to be useful. Producers will be asked to contribute to this section by supplying pictures of the tags in digital form. Work to be continued through the project period.
  • Tagging methods

  • Databases over tagging methods will be in place and search-able by November 1998.

    Special entry form will be designed so that entering new methods will be simple.

  • Tags released

  • One institute has already opened this search facility on it web-site the MRI. Will serve as a model for other institutes to do the same. A letter will be sent to various institutes in connection with a task called surveys to institutes to introduce the possibilities of this part.
  • Various links

  • The only service this part need is addition of links which are thought to be appropriate..
  • Work-groups

  • Will serve during the project period to aid work and communication. It will be decided in January 1999 if and how it will serve after the CA is finished
  • Conference board

  • This part will probably be opened up to general public in 1998. Has not been used much so far.seems that participants prefer to use the E-mail system.
  • Final outputs and deliverables finished by May 1999.




    Recommended projects which could be worked on and applied for to the EC.




    An extension for the CATAG-project.

    It is in the interest of the all the partners to finish this project as close to the finishing date as possible. It is also in our interest that the deliverables from the CATAG project will be as good as possible.

    The time given for this project 24 months is rather short. The reason for planning such a short project time is that it was thought that it would be good to have a short project duration so that the recommended projects which will be among the deliverables can get early into the process of applications for supports. Three years project time could delay some of the projects which could be the outcome of the CA project.

    The short time-span however makes the project vulnerable to unexpected things which may come up.

    There was for example a delay of commencement in the beginning of the project period because of the mistake that the contract was sent to Italy in stead of Iceland. After that when the contract was sent to Iceland it didn’t go to the coordinator but to the Vice Director of MRI who had gone on leave to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The result was that the project didn’t start until the beginning of February 1997.

    More time is also needed because more emphases has been put on data analysis and models than was in original application.

    We ask for an extension to the end of March 1999.