Researchers know that many aquatic species travel vast distances over extended periods of time. Research conducted in a specific geographic area show that some species leave that area only to return again at a future date. But where did they go and why? To learn the answers, many researchers have turned to collaborating with each other as species travel in and out of each other’s respective study areas. Because all VEMCO equipment works as a system, all VEMCO receivers can detect any VEMCO transmitter. It is this interoperability that has enabled researcher collaboration which boasts many advantages:
- Access to over 25,000 VEMCO receivers deployed worldwide
- Leveraging of each other’s arrays to enable studies to be conducted more economically
- Sharing of data to learn more about the respective species being studied
- Publishing of more relevant data and papers to allow more effective fisheries management
A number of large research networks have been established around the world and are enjoying even greater success with their project goals. These groups are always looking to expand their base and would be very interested in hearing from researchers who would like to be part of their collaborative efforts.
Ocean Tracking Network (OTN)
OTN, headquartered at Dalhousie University, unites the finest marine scientists in the world in the most comprehensive and revolutionary examination of marine life and ocean conditions that will change how scientists and world leaders understand and manage pressing global concerns such as fisheries management in the face of climate change.
IMOS Animal Tracking
IMOS Animal Tracking is an enhanced, nationally integrated capacity to collect marine data, merge it together and make it accessible to all researchers. IMOS Animal Tracking aims to form a national network and increase collaboration between acoustic tracking researchers.
Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS)
GLATOS is a network of researchers conducting acoustic telemetry projects on fish movement in the Laurentian Great Lakes and provides these researchers with opportunities to develop partnerships and share fish detection data among projects.
Atlantic Cooperative Telemetry (ACT)
ACT is a large-scale, collaborative approach to acoustic telemetry for monitoring various fish and invertebrate species in the Eastern United States. Using a collaborative approach allows for scaling of study areas, provides more leverage when dealing with funding agencies, and increases purchasing power with vendors.
California Fish Tracking Consortium (CFTC)
The California Fish Tracking Consortium consists of many different groups working together to manage an extensive array of acoustic monitors for tracking fish movement and mortality. The consortium shares more than 200 acoustic monitors that are spread throughout the Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems as well as the delta and San Francisco Bay.
Florida Atlantic Coast Telemetry (FACT) Array
The FACT array is a regional coordination of multiple acoustic telemetry projects aimed at tracking the movements of multiple species within and between ecosystems. The FACT collaboration addresses and demonstrates the importance of considering ecosystem-scale fish movements in subtropical coastal research and management.
Integrated Tracking of Aquatic Animals in the Gulf of Mexico (iTAG)
The goal of the iTAG (integrated Tracking of Aquatic Animals in the Gulf of Mexico) network is to build a collaborative community among telemetry users to maximize value-added research products that emerge from the growth and wide-spread use of acoustic telemetry and data sharing in the Gulf of Mexico. These value added products include better understandings of the scales of species’ migrations, intra-population variation in movement tactics, opportunities for unexpected discoveries, and opportunities to conduct cross ecosystem comparative studies and synthesis. With these value-added research products, iTAG and telemetry can fill research gaps for fisheries management and marine conservation that other sampling methods cannot provide.
Champlain Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (CATOS)
CATOS is a pilot study, pioneering the use of acoustic telemetry in Lake Champlain, to explore what this exciting technology can do to benefit the local commercial and recreational fisheries and improve researchers’ understanding of lake ecology.
Acoustic Tracking Array Platform
The Acoustic Tracking Array Platform (ATAP) is a collaborative marine science programme, which aims to provide a service to the greater marine science community by monitoring the movements and migrations of inshore marine animals. The platform comprises an expanded network of automated datalogging acoustic receivers that are moored to the ocean’s floor around the South African coastline.
Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking Project (POST)
POST was created to monitor the movement of marine animals through an array of VEMCO listening stations set along the west coast of North America. As of September 2012, the POST network database and all remaining active collaborators have migrated to the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN).