Webcast: Fish & Marine Mammal Tracking with Ocean Robots

Webcast: Fish & Marine Mammal Tracking with Ocean Robots

Peter Elliman — March 9, 2017

Did you know that snow crabs can travel up to 600km (approximately 373 miles)?

The Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) is a global research, technology, and partnership organization with headquarters at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a leader in the use of autonomous systems for ocean monitoring, OTN also often plays the role of the connector, helping foster collaboration between science, industry, NGOs, and government.

One interesting and ongoing project involves tracking snow crab movements. In Nova Scotia, snow crab harvesting is a $111* million industry, and fishing quotas are a critical mechanism for balancing the long-term environmental and commercial needs of the fishery. Traditional tagging methods for these mobile undersea animals relied on static receivers on the ocean floor, and weren’t always effective for crabs. OTN needed a better way to track individually tagged crabs and understand their movements and patterns, even when they were not moving past a receiver line.

In this webcast, I sit down with Fred Whoriskey and Richard Davis of OTN to learn how they use Wave Gliders to accomplish the following:

  • Monitor snow crab movements
  • Provide validation data for ocean models
  • Expand coastal monitoring to support climate change studies


* Source: Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries (2014 DFO statistics – Canada Provincial Values)