Global Trends in Aquatic Animal Tracking with Acoustic Telemetry

Acoustic telemetry is one of the major techniques utilized in tracking movement and behavior of aquatic animals to provide spatiotemporal behavioural information. The global distribution and research trends of acoustic telemetry is highlighted in order to identify current knowledge and management gaps. Identifying these gaps is necesssary in directing future research to better inform management and conservation of fisheries. According to the authors, advancement in the application of acoustic telemetry to understand the movement ecology of aquatic animals is evident, but many opportunities still exist to optimize its application for management and to broaden ecological knowledge. 

Date published: 2022/01/06

Title: Global trends in aquatic animal tracking with acoustic telemetry

Authors: Jordan K.Matley, Natalie V.Klinard, Ana P.Barbosa Martins, KimAarestrup, EnekoAspillaga, Steven J.Cooke, Paul D.Cowley, Michelle R.Heupel, Christopher G.Lowe, Susan K.Lowerre-Barbieri, HiromichiMitamura, Jean-SébastienMoore, Colin A.Simpfendorfer, Michael J.W.Stokesbury, Matthew D.Taylor, Eva B.Thorstad, Christopher S.Vandergoot, Aaron T.Fisk.

Journal: Trends in Ecology and Evaluation

Citation: Matley, Jordan & Klinard, Natalie & Martins, Ana & Aarestrup, Kim & Aspillaga, Eneko & Cooke, Steven & Cowley, Paul & Heupel, Michelle & Lowe, Christopher & Lowerre-Barbieri, Sue & Mitamura, Hiromichi & Moore, Jean-Sébastien & Simpfendorfer, Colin & Stokesbury, Michael & Taylor, Matthew & Thorstad, Eva & Vandergoot, Christopher & Fisk, Aaron. (2021). Global trends in aquatic animal tracking with acoustic telemetry. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 37. 10.1016/j.tree.2021.09.001. 

Open access: Yes


Acoustic telemetry (AT) is a rapidly evolving technique used to track the movements of aquatic animals. As the capacity of AT research expands it is important to optimize its relevance to management while still pursuing key ecological questions. A global review of AT literature revealed region-specific research priorities underscoring the breadth of how AT is applied, but collectively demonstrated a lack of management-driven objectives, particularly relating to fisheries, climate change, and protection of species. In addition to the need for more research with direct pertinence to management, AT research should prioritize ongoing efforts to create collaborative opportunities, establish long-term and ecosystem-based monitoring, and utilize technological advancements to bolster aquatic policy and ecological understanding worldwide.

Key Words: animal telemetry, aquatic monitoring, biotelemetry, conservation, movement ecology, resource management

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