Tagged by scientists, bluefin tuna passing submerged listening lines help reveal species' survival

phys.org | 3/20/2019 | Staff
shuadah (Posted by) Level 3
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An array of underwater listening lines that detect passing giant Atlantic bluefin tuna previously caught and tagged by scientists has created a new system to monitor these enormous, fast, powerful and lucrative fish in the open ocean.

A 10-year research project using the technology sheds light on the species' natural mortality as well as migration, important information for sustainable management of their populations.

Results - Study - Today - Journal - Scientific

Results of the study, published today in the journal Scientific Reports demonstrates that giant Atlantic bluefin gather in hot spots for 3 to 4 months a year to feast on their favourite snack foods—herring and mackerel.

Based on this behaviour, an international team of scientists predicted they might be able to take advantage of their homing behaviour to monitor the bluefin's coming and goings with Canada's Ocean Tracking Network (OTN)—an array of underwater receivers on North America's east coast, including across the Cabot Strait and the Scotian Shelf off Nova Scotia, Canada. Additional receivers along the North American coastline logged visitation of the bluefin from Canada to the Bahamas, and as far east as Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.

EasyPass - Collection - System - Highways - Bluefin

Much like an electronic EasyPass collection system on tolled highways, the large bluefin "check in" as they pass across these acoustic "gates," providing an opportunity to monitor their behaviour in consecutive years.

"Atlantic Bluefin are big animals and it took a team of fishers to catch each one individually and pull it up on the deck of their boats so scientists could electronically tag them. By carefully handling the animals, the team was able to tag each tuna with a long-term wearable device, and then record the return of mature and sub-adult Atlantic bluefin tuna for 1-5 years.

Project - OTN - Underwater - Receiver - Technology

"The project utilized the OTN underwater receiver technology that was deployed in strategic locations to capture the coming and goings of multiple species...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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