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sustainable fisheries management

Pop-up Satellite Tags

pop-up satellite tag for tracking fish

Pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) are archival tags also have the capacity to transmit the stored information to a satellite.  The tag is typically inserted into the dorsal musculature with a barb while the tag itself remains outside the animal.  PSATs typically log temperature, depth and light intensity. As with the archival tags, light can be used to calculate latitude and longitude and offer estimates of fish position.  After a predetermined amount of time, the tag releases from the fish, floats to the surface and uploads its data to the ARGOS satellite system

marlin with pop-up satellite tag

Because the satellites can only transfer so much data at a time, the data must be compressed before transmission and detailed records like those provided by the archival tags are difficult to obtain. If however, the PSAT is reacquired, the entire dataset can be downloaded and the tag can be re-fitted for subsequent deployment.  One major benefit to PSAT technology is that the fish never has to be recaptured to recover the data and we can study species for which there is no fishery or for which conventional tag returns are very low. The only disadvantage of the pop-up tags is that they are relatively expensive and data transmission is limited.



PIER currently uses pop-up satellite tags to track the movements of Swordfish and Common thresher sharks




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The Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research, PIER, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Oceanside, California.