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85 Days of an Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: A PSAT Success Story

  • February 4, 2020

Studying species in a marine application is notoriously difficult. Telemetry equipment is up against unpredictable conditions, creating any number of hurdles for a research project that demands product performance in the areas of longevity, data retrieval and sensor reliability and accuracy.

Dr. Barbara Block & her team at the Tuna Research and Conservation Center are no strangers to the challenges that are intrinsic to marine research. As part of their interest in defining the stock structure of the Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABT), they undertook a validation test of Lotek’s Pop-off Satellite Archival Tag (PSAT) to determine whether the tag was an appropriate choice for the species.  Their team wanted to know:

  1. Could they make the tag stay attached to an Atlantic Bluefin Tuna for 85 days?
  2. Would the release mechanism work?
  3. Would it transmit data effectively and for long enough to recover the majority of the transmittable data?
  4. Would the sensors perform well?

Much to the delight of the research team, the PSAT remained attached to the ABT throughout the full 85-day deployment, released and uploaded its data as expected, and provided high quality time series and geolocation data. We are looking forward to starting a new round of longer-term tests!

Dr. Barbara Block with Lotek Marine Telemetry Specialist Padraic O’Flaherty