Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Data Buoy Science

Acoustic Tagging Project

VEMCO VR2W Positioning System

Virtual positioning of one fish using simultaneous detections on three receivers

Virtual positioning of one fish using simultaneous detections on three receivers
Photo: VEMCO

A new VEMCO VR2W Positioning System (VPS) was deployed in the sanctuary in May-June 2012. A single, linear ledge feature about 245 m long was selected in the sanctuary to host the system. Receivers were placed along and around the ledge in such a way that at any given location along the ledge line, a tagged fish would likely be detected by at least 3 receivers. Detections at multiple receivers allow researchers to calculate the location of a fish to within 15 m. A reference tag in the middle of the grid will continually evaluate the performance and efficiency of the system to ensure the fish detections are accurate.

In May, 2012, six gag, six black sea bass and 2 scamp were tagged at this ledge. This project will allow us to develop a detailed picture of the movement patterns of those fish around this ledge feature. Additional tagging is planned for summer 2013.

Other animals that have been successfully tracked with the VEMCO VPS are queen conch, American lobster, cod, lingcod, lake trout , and gray smooth-hound sharks. The results can be equivalent to active tracking of the animal but the high cost and amount of man power is reduced using a VPS system.

For more information on the VEMCO Positioning System, please click here to visit the VEMCO website.


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