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Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi) Tagging Update
  • Conservation
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Grady-White Boats is the only corporate-level sponsor to have supported the Dolphinfish Research Program every year of its existence. This important research project studies the migration of pelagic dolphinfish (also known as mahi-mahi or dorado) through tag and release programs in order to provide better science to help guide healthy management of these incredible game fish and important food fish.

More about the Dolphinfish Research Program

Support from sponsors and contributors including AFTCO, Big Rock Sports, Costa Del Mar, Grady-White, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Haddrell's Point Tackle, the Hilton Head Reef Foundation, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and many other companies and individuals are used to expand the program of recreational tag and release of these game fish. Here are few highlights about these fish that research has indicated:

  • Natural mortality is one of the biggest obstacles in research and the reason it's important to place many tags.
  • It is estimated that the total annual mortality of dolphin is 99. 7%! That means that only 0.3 percent of the fish make it to their second year!
  • These fish are preyed upon by almost all pelagic predators, and that's one of the biggest reason mortality is so high...and why many of the tags are cut loose by sharp teeth.
  • Dolphinfish grow incredibly fast; it maybe the only fish whose growth rate can be measured by the day! In the Gulf of Mexico these fish have be shown to grow at a rate of five inches per month. A 50-pound dolphin is about two years old!
  • It is documented that dolphin commonly engage in deep diving to take advantage of deep water food sources that come up in the water column at night. Dives as deep 800 feet have been recorded!
  • Tagging studies of one fish show that over one 180-day period, the fish circled over 1800 miles around the Sargasso Sea in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and from there headed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Although this research focuses on the dolphinfish in the Atlantic, the species ranges worldwide.

Participate in this research and help ensure a healthy dolphinfish fishery.

Opportunities to help in this effort are available currently in four regions along the East Coast of the United States, into the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Bahamas and the Tropical Caribbean.

For much more information about the program and how to participate, visit