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Automated Marking & Tagging Trailer

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Uploaded on Aug 8, 2011

Each year, a number of marking and tagging trailers travel across the Olympic Peninsula making stops at various National Fish Hatcheries. The purpose of the trailer is to mark and tag fry fish being held at the hatcheries. Due to the extensive travel from birth streams to oceans, marking and tagging of fish is used to track the movements and survival rates of specific fish stocks.
Two processes are completed within the automated trailers. The "tagging" process refers to a tiny piece of stainless steel wire, averaging 1.1mm in length and .25mm in diameter, which is inserted into the snout of each fish. Each piece of wire, called the "coded wire tag," contains a row of numbers which distinguish a specific batch of fish. Upon the adult fishs' later return to the hatchery, the coded wire tag can be detected within the fish by using a scanning device.
The "mass marking" process is the removal of the fish's adipose fin to distinguish hatchery fish from wild ones. This allows the harvesting of hatchery fish while protecting wild fish in shared waters. Within the automated trailer, video imaging is used to detect the adipose fin and clip it from the fish before allowing the fish back into the hatchery raceways.
Each trailer can mark and tag up to 8,000 fish per hour. Workers are also present within each trailer to monitor the ongoing quality of the process. Occasionally, if something goes wrong during the process, workers will complete the marking and/or tagging of fish by hand.
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