Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Underwater gliders may change how scientists track fish

Date:
June 23, 2010
Source:
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Summary:
Tracking fish across Alaska's vast continental shelves can present a challenge to any scientist studying Alaska's seas. Researchers have successfully tested a possible solution in the form of underwater gliders.

A scientist takes an underwater photo of one of the underwater gliders.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Hank Statscewich

Tracking fish across Alaska's vast continental shelves can present a challenge to any scientist studying Alaska's seas. Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have successfully tested a possible solution in the form of underwater gliders.

Related Articles


Last month, Peter Winsor, associate professor of physical oceanography, and Andrew Seitz, assistant professor of fisheries, tested the use of autonomous underwater vehicles, called gliders, for tracking tagged fish. Winsor and Seitz suspended acoustic tags, usually implanted in fish, at different depths along a buoy line near Juneau. They then deployed two gliders fitted with an acoustic listening device to "hear" the signals from the tags.

Winsor and Seitz say these are the first gliders to be deployed in Alaska with an acoustic monitoring device to track tagged fish.

Each glider is about five feet long and flies like an airplane through the water in an up-and-down motion. They are propelled using an internal bladder that works much like a fish's swim bladder. When the bladder expands, the glider moves toward the surface. When it contracts, it moves toward the seafloor.

"They convert changes in water depth into forward movement," said Seitz.

The gliders move at a speed of nearly one mile per hour and can operate for up to three months. According to Winsor, the gliders can cover thousands of miles of ocean. At the surface, the glider transmits data, including its location and oceanographic readings, directly to scientists.

"With the gliders, we not only learn about where the fish go, but we can also measure the physical, chemical and biological environment of the ocean at the same time," said Winsor.

Traditional methods of tracking tagged fish include using a ship equipped with an acoustic listening device, or by using what scientists call a "listening line," which is a series of hydrophones attached to the seafloor.

"The problem with using hydrophones is that they stay in one place and the tagged fish have to move near enough to the hydrophones to be detected," said Seitz. "This can create big geographic gaps in your data, especially in the vast oceans surrounding Alaska."

Seitz and Winsor say that the gliders can be programmed to follow tagged fish. The technology is ideal for Alaska waters because the gliders can cover large distances and are much less expensive than using a ship or sets of hydrophones. Scientists are planning to use the gliders to gather oceanographic information in the Chukchi Sea.

This project was funded by the NOAA National Undersea Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alaska Fairbanks. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Underwater gliders may change how scientists track fish." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622095114.htm>.
University of Alaska Fairbanks. (2010, June 23). Underwater gliders may change how scientists track fish. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622095114.htm
University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Underwater gliders may change how scientists track fish." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622095114.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins