Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Salmon Found – Ocean Tracking Network Breakthrough

20.08.2008
For years scientists have struggled to understand the decline of Atlantic salmon and what happens to them once they reach the ocean. The Ocean Tracking Network, headquartered at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has made a breakthrough discovery, learning where they go.

Atlantic salmon tagged with tiny acoustic transmitters crossed the 22 km line of acoustic receivers, deployed by the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), in the waters off of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The fish, tagged by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in the Penobscot River in Maine, sent signals to the receivers, and information about their passage was then downloaded from the receivers to a Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) research vessel via modem.

“In Maine, traditional methods of restoring Atlantic salmon by stocking fish have not been very successful, with only 0.68 per cent returning,” says Mike Stokesbury, director of research for OTN, headquartered at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. “With the tagged salmon we can track more fish further into the ocean than ever before and get meaningful results,” he explains.

One hundred salmon were tagged in Maine USA with 9mm transmitters in the Penobscot River. About 30 per cent of their signals were picked up by OTN receivers deployed by DFO off Halifax. Each fish has an individual code and gives specific information about its activity such as survival rates, speed and migratory habits. The information has shown that while some salmon may die before reaching Halifax, many still survive.

The first downloads gave valuable information about when the salmon left the Penobscot River and estuaries. “We’re not sure where they go in-between, but we’re hoping to find that out,” says Mr. Stokesbury. “The salmon crossing the line is evidence that the network is working,” adds Peter Smith, a scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO) and the DFO lead for the Halifax Line. Some tagged salmon may have not yet crossed the line while others may have gone beyond it, but they may be detected again when they cross the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) line at Strait of Belle Isle, Labrador.

“Given the fact that we are looking for a fish that is still less than a foot long that could be anywhere in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, finding them in such apparent concentrations hundreds of miles from Brewer, Maine is remarkable and very encouraging,” said John Kocik, who is leading the salmon tagging project with colleague James Hawkes at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Centre’s Maine Field Station in Orono, Maine. “Broad-scale ocean arrays such as the OTN Halifax Line are a great tool to examine the marine ecology of such an uncommon fish in a large marine environment.”

Institutions and organizations such as BIO, DFO, USGS, ASF, NOAA and Dalhousie University are all part of the OTN effort to determine what’s happening to the salmon stocks. The first detection on the Halifax Line was recorded May 18 from a salmon tagged in Nova Scotia’s Medway River by a Fisheries and Oceans Canada researcher at BIO. The Halifax line also recorded a salmon tagged by ASF researchers in the spring in the Magaguadavic River, a Canadian river near the Maine-New Brunswick border. This fish crossed the Bay of Fundy and passed Halifax, presumably on the way to feed off the coast of Greenland.

“Salmon are an iconic fish, but they’re becoming endangered and people want to know what’s happening to the population,” says Mr. Stokesbury. “This is the first step to finding out where in the ocean the salmon are dying and what’s causing the decline.”

Similar results are being seen by the OTN’s West Coast partner in the Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking (POST) project, of the Census of Marine Life. In addition to salmon, OTN researchers around the world and as far away as Australia are tagging marine life, from squid to turtles, with transmitters in an effort to finally provide ocean scientists around the world with the most comprehensive information about our oceans and marine life. Information about the OTN can be found at oceantrackingnetwork.org.

Billy Comeau | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.dal.ca
http://www.oceantrackingnetwork.org
http://www.bio.gc.ca/Welcome-e.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Loss of habitat causes double damage to species richness
02.04.2019 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Deep decarbonization of industry is possible with innovations
25.03.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>