Where the tuna swim? Tracking tuna by satellite07/05/2013 09:34:12
Tracking map reveals tuna movements in the Coral Triangle region
May 2013. Data from pop-up satellite tags attached to adult yellowfin tuna show movements of this commercially-valuable species around Coral Triangle waters.
The movements of four mighty swimmers named Amihan, Badjao, Hagibis, and Buhawi, can now be followed via a species tracking map, that shows in color-coded coordinates, how far the fish have swam since being tagged off the western seaboard of Mindoro Occidental in the Philippines.
Large distances covered
"While still preliminary, the results signify that to properly manage this yellowfin tuna stock, we need to consider similar or complimentary conservation measures along the geographic area of its movements."
WWF, in collaboration with the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), is conducting a tuna tagging project in Philippine waters to gather more data on the movements of yellowfin tuna.
Identify spawning zones
The Coral Triangle
Over extraction and illegal fishing
Yellowfin tuna are now classified as fully overexploited.
"By tagging tuna, we hope to gather critical information that can help protect the species in specific sites during its most vulnerable life stages. Data collected will help inform management plans for a more sustainable tuna industry in this part of the world," adds Dr. Ingles.
A total of 16 pop-up satellite tags will be deployed on large adult yellowfin tunas (weighing more than 70 kg) throughout the duration of this activity.
Pop-up satellite tags, which are attached at the back of the tunas, collect vital data such as temperature, depth, and light intensity, and are programmed to automatically detach from the fish after three to six months when it floats to the surface and sends out information via satellite transmission and into a server.