|COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER||10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.19|
TOPP as a Marine Life Observatory: Using Electronic Tags to Monitor the Movements, Behaviour and Habitats of Marine Vertebrates
Daniel P. Costa(1), Barbar e. Block(2), Steven J. Bograd(3), Michael A. Fedak(4), John S. Gunn(5)
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The Tagging of Pacific Pelagic (TOPP) a field program of the Census of Marine Life has proven the concept of using electronic tags to develop a Marine Life Observatory (MLO) to monitor the habitat utilization, movement patterns and behaviour of large marine predators. Given the difficulty of observing the behavior of highly pelagic marine species we know relatively little about their habitat requirements. This is especially true for tunas, sharks, turtles, seabirds, seals and whales that disperse over vast areas of the pelagic realm spending most of their time underwater and at great distances from shore. The new, miniaturized sensors provide oceanographic quality environmental data directly from wild animals living free and undisturbed in their natural habitats, in addition to detailed information about the behaviour of the animals themselves. The availability of this technology is leading to a partnership between physical oceanographers and organismal biologists. These studies are providing a unique avenue for animal acquired data to be incorporated into the operational oceanography community. The data derived from these advanced electronic tagging technologies and scientific methods will help us meet the challenges of the 21st century for marine resource management and ocean modeling. Biologging has been employed on a large scale and in an operational mode showing that it can play an important role in a Global Ocean Observing System.
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This paper shall be cited as:
Costa, D., Block, B., Bograd, S., Fedak, M. and Gunn, J., (2010). "TOPP as a Marine Life Observatory: Using Electronic Tags to Monitor the Movements, Behaviour and Habitats of Marine Vertebrates" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.19
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