Saturday, 22 November 2014

Fish fitted with electronic tags act like a 'dinner bell' for hungry seals

By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent

4:31PM GMT 19 Nov 2014

Scientific attempts to track fish are being thwarted by seals treating the pinging noise that comes from their electronic tagging devices like a “dinner bell”.

Grey seals are thought to have skewed the results of studies by chasing down the sound and eating the fish fitted with acoustic tags

Biologists said the noise that allowed scientists to follow shoals of fish was being linked by predatory seals with the availability of a meal.

They added that the discovery could have a "profound effect" on research designed to monitor fish stocks.

Projects studying the movements of salmon and lingcod are said to have suffered disproportionate losses and scientists fear further research could be compromised unless a different type of tag is used.

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