Fish tag for Tuna

Saturday, Feb 7, 2015,21:03 IST By metro vaartha A A A

Kochi, Feb 8 (PTI) The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services has developed a fish tag to track fish movements with the help of GPS and satellite facilities.
As of now, the fish tag– PSAT (Pop up satellite archival tag data), developed by the Hyderabad-based organisation, is tailor made for Tuna and will enable scientists to learn more about their habitat and prepare a database for communities like fishermen.
The modest-looking gadget is currently on display at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) stall of the ongoing World Oceanic Science Congress (WOSC) here. The four-day event is being jointly organised by Kerala University of Fisheries and Oceanic Studies (KUFOS) and Swadeshi Science Movement concludes tomorrow.
The tag can be attached to the gill of the fish after it is netted. Weighing only 40 grams and measuring 12 inches of length that includes the antenna, the instrument poses no difficulty for its wearer known for its excellent edibility that adds to its commercial use.
The PSAT will trace the paths of the fish over a three-month period, plumb its depths and gauge the temperatures.
After 90 days, the tag will on itself free from the gill and surface on the seas from where it would transmit information via satellite to the INCOIS monitoring system.
PSAT-related research is progressing, according to Rose P Bright, an assistant with the pioneering project.
As of now, the tool has been attached to 12 fish in the watery zones off Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Four of them have delivered results, she said.
One tuna fish that was tagged with PSAT at Chennai is recorded to have swam around entire island of Sri Lanka. It is learnt to have travelled in temperatures ranging between 20 and 27 degree Celsius, seldom going deeper than a standard level.    Given that the tuna moves with the aim of finding its feeds, its travel path also throws light on other varieties of fish and their habitat.    The study is important also considering that the tuna data in Indian Ocean remains far less studied compared to that on their existence in the Atlantic and Pacific.

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