A collaborative research project conducted by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC) and the Virgin Islands Fisherman association investigated lobster resources in the USVI. As a part of the project, Coral World Ocean park conducted a study that investigated the effects of lobster molting on tag loss rates. Rates of lobster tag loss was estimated from 46 small (37-87 mm) and large tagged lobsters housed in water tables at Coral World Ocean Park for 10.6 years. Lobsters were observed and fed three times each day by Coral World Ocean Staff throughout the study. By the end of the study, only 1 small lobster still retained its tag, however, despite molting 6 times, no tags were lost from the large lobsters. These data suggest that tag loss rates are not affected by molting in large adult lobsters.
This project investigated yellow tail snapper basic life history in the USVI. With this information, natural resource managers can make management decisions with regards to yellow tail snapper populations throughout the territories. The study estimated USVI yellow tail snapper mortality rates and population sizes, determined yellow tail snapper growth patterns, estimated yellowtail snapper fish movements among coral reefs, and collected yellow tail snapper genetic material to be used in future genetic tagging techniques. To estimate yellow tail snapper tagging induced mortality and rates of tag loss, yellow tail snappers were caught, tagged and transported to Coral World Ocean Park. Three experimental series were run at coral world ocean park to test the effects of tagging on mortality and to assess the rate at which tags were lost. Results from the Coral World study revealed no effect of tagging on fish mortality and tag loss was negligible. Staff from Coral World Ocean Park also assisted during many of the tagging trips throughout the study.