Electronic Tracking and Tagging of Pelagic Tunas

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

David Kerstetter

Second Advisor

Curtis Burney


This review will compare the habitat preference and behavior via electronic tagging studies with respect to the seven principal market species of tuna. Qualitative data analysis will include (but are not limited to): horizontal migration (time cues, distance and cues to migrate), vertical habitat use in relation to physiology (short-term vertical migrations), depth distributions, aggregations and various tolerances to oceanographic conditions (e.g. temperature and dissolved oxygen). The results will review available electronic tagging data and provide a concise reference point for scientists studying tuna to use in their research.

This review will also have important implications for management of tuna worldwide. Important physiological and life history traits can be ascertained via electronic tagging of tuna. There is considerable uncertainty as to the relationship between physiological processes and life history, but if information can be garnered via electronic tagging, there may be ways to increase the effectiveness of conservation and management strategies (Young et al. 2006). This review may also help with a reevaluation of Marine Protected Areas (MP As) due to data from electronic tags related to fish movement. With respect to the highly migratory status of tuna, a review of electronic tagging studies may help to re-evaluate stock boundaries, thus providing more adequate protection of stocks from overfishing. Also, electronic tagging data may help managers acquire more accurate abundance estimates from comparing tracking data with longline fishing gear data (Ward and Myers 2005).

Moreover, a review of electronic tagging studies to date can determine if recommendations for future investigation made from previous studies have been initiated and/or completed. Furthermore, a review of current electronic tagging studies may increase returns of archival tags due to increased education and publicity. New technologies have also been developed or redesigned, which may help gather more accurate data and increase returns of data from the individual tags. The data gathered from electronic tagging studies not only provides data specific to tuna fisheries, it also gathers data on oceanographic conditions, which may further our understanding of the physical processes governing our oceans as well as how those processes affect fish and other living organisms in the world's oceans.

This document is currently not available here.

For NSU Patrons Only.