Monday, February 23, 2009

Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking Project

A POST Scientist checks the growth of a tagged salmon smolt
Photo Credit: POST Photo Gallery []

The Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking Project (POST) is a resource for "tracking the movement and estimated survival of marine animals along the West Coast of North America, using acoustic transmitters implanted in a variety of species, and a series of receivers running in lines across the continental shelf."1 POST began its tracking work in 2001, focusing specifically on finding out what happens to salmon when they leave the rivers and enter the ocean. Today, with additional funders, POST has expanded from just studying salmon migration to tracking a vast array of marine life on the West Coast.

An acoustic unit is deployed. Each unit is equipped with a yellow flotation device, white acoustic modem, and black acoustic receiver. Photo Credit: POST Photo Gallery []

Tools such as the Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking project are helpful in understanding key aspects of the biology of marine species and our oceans. When I look at POST from a marine planning perspective, I am reminded that our entire ecosystem is important to planning; and that fresh water systems are indeed quite connected to the rest of the ocean.

To learn more about POST, and to watch an informative video about how it works, visit:

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