Marine Science Minute with Florida Sea Grant
Marine Science Minute with Florida Sea Grant
Episode 12 - Barotrauma & Return 'Em Right

Today on Marine Science Minute with Florida Sea Grant: Barotrauma & Return ‘Em Right 

Have you ever been fishing, reeled up a trophy snapper or grouper only to see it float away after release?

Image courtesy of Return ‘Em Right.

This is due to barotrauma, a pressure-related injury fish experience when reeled up from depth.

It’s caused by the expansion of gases inside fish which often displaces organs and leaves them bloated and unable to return to depth on their own. This leads to millions of preventable fish deaths each year.

Fish suffering from barotrauma are likely to survive release when anglers use best practices including venting and descending.  

The Return ‘Em Right program teaches anglers how to properly release reef fish. At you can take a 15-minute course to help improve reef fish survival and receive a release gear kit to use on the water. 

For information about this and other coastal topics, contact your county extension office or visit Florida Sea Grant at

Season 1


Learn about all things marine and coastal science by listening to other episodes from this season of Marine Science Minute with Florida Sea Grant.