Telemetry Techniques: A User Guide for Fisheries Research

Section 8.2: Considerations for Tagging and Tracking Fish in Tropical Coastal Habitats: Lessons from Bonefish, Barracuda, and Sharks Tagged with Acoustic Transmitters

Karen J. Murchie, Andy J. Danylchuk, Steven J. Cooke, Amanda C. O’Toole, Aaron Schultz, Chris Haak, Edward J. Brooks, and Cory D. Suski

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874264.ch16

Acoustic telemetry is proving to be a very useful tool for understanding the spatial ecology of fish and invertebrates that use tropical coastal marine environments (e.g., Simpfendorfer et al. 2002; Stark et al. 2005; Lindholm et al. 2006; Gordon and Seymour 2009). Given that radio telemetry is not effective in salt water systems due to signal attenuation (Pincock and Voegeli 1992), the development of acoustic telemetry has increased the capacity to examine the movement patterns and habitat use of highly mobile marine organisms, such as bony fishes and sharks (e.g., Meyer et al. 2007, 2009). The advent of remote logging receivers has also enabled data to be collected continuously, further increasing the capacity to examine factors such as diurnal movement patterns (e.g., Murchie et al. 2010) as well as the influence of stochastic events (e.g., tropical storms; Heupel et al. 2003) on the spatial ecology of fish in tropical coastal environments. Although telemetry has yielded a better understanding of the spatial ecology of fishes, there can be many hurdles to overcome when using acoustic telemetry in tropical coastal environments. For example, high water temperatures, shallow intertidal environments, hurricanes, and predominantly open systems can all influence the ability to address specific questions related to the movement patterns of fishes.