Brief description The IMOS Animal Tracking Facility (formerly known as the Australian Animal Tracking And Monitoring System (AATAMS)) represents the higher biological monitoring of the marine environment for the IMOS program. Currently the facility uses acoustic technology, CTD satellite trackers and bio loggers to monitor coastal and oceanic movements of marine animals from the Australian mainland to the sub-Antarctic islands and as far south as the Antarctic continent.
Acoustic monitoring is a powerful tool for observing tagged marine animals with networks or cross shelf arrays (curtains) of receivers, allowing animals to be monitored over scales of hundreds of metres to thousands of kilometres. An array or network consists of a series of acoustic receivers that are strategically deployed on the sea floor for 1 to 10 years (depending on receiver type and battery life) with the ability to download data from the receivers as often as required. NCRIS and partner investments will target areas identified by regional nodes.
VR2's deployed in conjunction with other moorings will provide information on long range movement of a variety of species including endangered and protected species (i.e. White Sharks and Grey Nurse Sharks), and valuable commercial species (i.e. Tuna)
Curtains are mobile and can be deployed in different configurations for specific IMOS projects. The continued coordination of acoustic tag codes between researchers means that acoustic array around Australia will provide the combined infrastructure to monitor movement of highly migratory marine species between all jurisdictions.
CTD satellite trackers and bio loggers currently deployed on a large range of animals are collecting a wide range of data. This includes behavioural and physical data such as the depth, temperature, salinity and movement effort of individual marine animals.
The Animal Tracking Facility is set up to collect data over a long period of time. This sustained approach will enable researchers to assess the effects of climate change, ocean acidification and other physical changes that affect animals within the marine environment.
Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) is enabled by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). It is operated by a consortium of institutions as an unincorporated joint venture, with the University of Tasmania as Lead Agent.
1) Form a national network and increase collaboration between tracking researchers
2) Invest in over 500 permanent, strategically located receivers (VR2Ws and VR3s) to maximise national benefit and form a continental array with existing infrastructure
3) Lead the Southern Hemisphere section of an internationally coordinated Marine Animal Tracking program: Ocean Tracking Network (OTN)
4) Act as a central repository for data from collaborating institutes and researchers around the Nation
5) To assess climate change in the Southern Oceans