CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- A team of researchers is offering fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. South Atlantic a reward for hauling in tagged Greater Amberjack fish as part of a nationwide study.

The Greater Amberjack Count, led by Dr. Sean Powers of the University of South Alabama, is an $11.7 million study that aims to estimate the number of greater amberjack in the U.S. South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico as well as study the species’ movement patterns and biology.

The project, funded by the National Sea Grant College Program and NOAA Fisheries, was designed to help fill gaps in knowledge about Greater Amberjack. According to NOAA, certain populations of the species are overfished, while others are not, and researchers want to understand why.

Throughout this summer, 1,200 Greater Amberjack will be tagged and released into the aforementioned waters.

750 fish will be tagged with “conventional tags,” tags that are red and yellow in color and located just below the second dorsal fin on either side of the fish. Some may have one tag, while others will have two.

Each of the small, colorful conventional tags will display a unique five-digit number and a telephone number to call to claim a $250 reward. (Dr. Michael Dance, Louisiana State University and Dr. Marcus Drymon, Mississippi State University)

450 fish will have “acoustic tags” implanted in their abdominal cavity. These tags emit signals that ping off underwater “listening stations” and allow researchers to track movement patterns and habitat use. All acoustically tagged fish will also have at least one conventional tag.

NOAA and the research team are asking for local fishermen’s assistance in catching the tagged fish for the study. Fishermen who catch conventionally-tagged Greater Amberjack can return the tag(s) for a $250 reward.

Instructions on how to clip, report, and mail in the tag can be found here.