In this episode of Dive In with NOAA Fisheries, we're talking with experts about barotrauma—a pressure-related injury that fish experience when being reeled up from the surface. Besides being pretty unpleasant—or even deadly—for the fish, it can seriously damage the whole health of a fishery. That's where the Return 'Em Right program comes in: it's providing free training on the best practices for releasing fish suffering from barotrauma. And for anglers fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, it's providing free and ready-to-use gear that will help save these fish for another day. It's also helping Gulf fisheries recover after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
We talk to Nick Haddad, the Sustainable Fisheries Communications Manager for Florida Sea Grant, one of the partner organizations responsible for Return 'Em Right. We also hear from Sean Meehan, the Southeast Regional Recreational Fishing Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries. They share information on how to access the online training, the best ways to deal with fish showing signs of barotrauma, and best practices for catch-and-release fishing.