The Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), a global research and technology development initiative headquartered at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia), has added a Liquid Robotics Wave Glider to their fleet of monitoring and tracking gliders. After several successful test missions since 2011, OTN purchased the first Wave Glider in Canada. In addition to Turner Designs chlorophyll, CDOM, and turbidity sensors, the Wave Glider is modified to carry a VEMCO VR2W acoustic receiver. The glider has been tracking salmon and other acoustically tagged marine species in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, while performing range tests and remote data offload from bottom-moored acoustic arrays.
Mobile tracking platforms greatly enhance observations of marine animal movements and migration. Additionally, it can benefit end-users by providing real-time data including wave height, wind speed and ocean currents which are currently broadcast via the OTN glider website. Oceanographic measurements provide environmental context used to describe animal movement/migration and survival; measurements of chlorophyll from Turner Designs’ fluorometers are helping oceanographers develop estimates of sea water productivity. OTN researchers are expanding calibrations for these instruments and improving design and function in collaboration with partners in technology and industry.
OTN, supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), operates in 14 countries and is partnered with more than 200 researchers across the world to track fishes including various species of sharks, sturgeon, tuna, and other marine animals like squid and marine mammals.