Canadian-Australian marine tracking collaboration
Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) and Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) signed an international science collaboration agreement at the High Commission of Canada in Canberra on Aug. 2, 2012.
IMOS, headquartered at the University of Tasmania, and OTN have partnered to expand Australia’s role in the global OTN infrastructure which tracks local-to-global movements and migration of thousands of marine species, including sharks, turtles, mammals and at-risk species like Atlantic salmon and Bluefin tuna. The data are used by scientists to identify causes of fish population decline, ocean climate change as well as influence ocean governance policy to restore and protect the integrity of the global ocean ecosystem.
Animals fitted with acoustic tags are tracked as they pass over lines of acoustic receivers placed along the ocean floor. Data collected from receivers, which include the animal’s unique identification signal and oceanographic properties, are stored in a central database managed by OTN at its headquarters at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. The data are made publically available to the broader scientific community to answer critical questions about species populations and climate variability.
OTN and IMOS will implement the last of three receiver arrays off the coast of Flinders Island, Northeastern Tasmania this fall. Existing arrays include 57 active receivers off the coast of Perth, deployed in 2009, and 72 receivers in the Bass Strait, south of Melbourne, deployed in February 2012.
IMOS, established in 2007, uses different marine observing systems operated by institutions within the National Innovation System to create data streams for use by the Australian and international marine and climate science community. IMOS is supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and the Super Science Initiative.
OTN is a $168-million mega-research project supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Beginning in 2008, OTN began deploying state of the art acoustic receivers manufactured by Canadian company VEMCO into the world’s oceans. Over 200 international researchers from 15 countries are currently participating in the OTN global network.
OTN Executive Director, Dr. Fred Whoriskey, IMOS Director Tim Moltmann and Australian OTN/IMOS Deployment Manager Professor Rob Harcourt attended the launch on August 2 in Australia.
An OTN receiver is installed on the Perth Line in 2009
- Nikki Beauchamp, email@example.com, 902.293.0181