Friday, 10 May 2013

Where the tuna swim? Tracking tuna by satellite

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 aspecies 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
"The data we have gathered so far reveal that tuna movements cover an impressive amount of nautical miles a day, travelling back and forth in a general north-south direction from where they were caught and released," says Dr. Jose Ingles, Tuna Strategy Leader of the WWF Coral Triangle Programme. 

"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
"Through this activity, we hope to identify key spawning, feeding, and nursery grounds of this much sought-after species and make a case for governments to protect these sites," adds Dr. Ingles. 

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