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Cobia Research

Reproduction and movement of cobia in Florida waters

Cobia along Florida’s coasts are being fitted with conventional dart tags and surgically implanted with acoustic transmitters. Data collected by acoustic receivers along the coasts allows researchers to track cobia movements and learn more about the spawning migrations of the Gulf and Atlantic stocks.

Scientists are also working with the public to sample the reproductive organs of harvested cobia. This data will allow scientists to determine if and where cobia are spawning along Florida’s coasts. We need your help to better understand the reproductive biology of Cobia in Florida, so…

If you catch a cobia, please let us know!

 If you harvest a cobia from March-September:

  • To arrange a biologist to meet you and get a $50 reward call the appropriate number below
    • For southeast Florida (Ft. Lauderdale – Sebastian) call 561-510-5620
    • For southwest Florida (Naples – St. Petersburg) call 727-220-7108
    • For northwest Florida (St. Petersburg - Steinhatchee) call 727-685-7354
  • Fish must be kept whole or filleted carcass with organs intact on ice.

If you catch a tagged cobia:

  • For the purpose of this study, we discourage the harvest of tagged cobia.
  • Take a picture of the tag.
  • Record the tag number, fork length, date and general location of catch.
  • Release the fish in good condition with tags still intact.
  • Call the number above in your region and get a reward and shirt.
  • Releasing tagged cobia will allow researchers to continue gathering valuable data.

If you accidentally harvest a tagged cobia:

  • Report all information listed above for tagged cobia.
  • Return BOTH the internal acoustic transmitter AND plastic dart tags to:

    Attn: Jim Whittington
    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
    Tequesta Field Laboratory
    19100 SE Federal Hwy.
    Tequesta, FL 33469
  • The internal acoustic transmitter can be found implanted just inside the body cavity on the underside of the fish. This will provide valuable information to researchers.

Email questions to or

Please observe all fishing regulations and license requirements.