Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 30 Issue 02

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Volume 30, No. 2
Pages 139 - 139


Ocean Observations Using Tagged Animals

Fabien Roquet Lars Boehme Mike A. FedakBarbara BlockJean-Benoit CharrassinDaniel CostaLuis A. HückstädtChristophe GuinetRobert G. Harcourt Mark A. Hindell Clive R. McMahonBill Woodward
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“Biologging” through temporary attachment of miniaturized data loggers on marine animals is revolutionizing the science of marine ecology (Block et al., 2011; Hussey et al., 2015). It also offers new capabilities to observe the ocean. In addition to collecting location and depth information useful for studying foraging behavior, these devices can record vertical profiles of temperature and salinity (Fedak, 2004; Costa et al., 2010), data that are used to improve knowledge of ocean state and its variability.


Roquet, F., L. Boehme, B. Block, J.-B. Charrassin, D. Costa, C. Guinet, R.G. Harcourt, M.A. Hindell, L.A. Hückstädt, C.R. McMahon, B. Woodward, and M.A. Fedak. 2017. Ocean observations using tagged animals. Oceanography 30(2):139, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2017.235.


Block, B.A., C.M. Holbrook. S.E. Simmons, K.N. Holland, J.S. Ault, D.P. Costa, A.C. Seitz, M.D. Arendt, J.C. Payne, B. Mahmoudi, and others. 2016. Toward a national animal telemetry network for aquatic observations in the United States. Animal Biotelemetry 4:6, https://doi.org/10.1186/s40317-015-0092-1.

Block, B.A., I.D. Jonsen, S.J. Jorgensen, A.J. Winship, S.A. Shaffer, S.J. Bograd, E.L. Hazen, D.G. Foley, G.A. Breed, A.-L. Harrison, and others. 2011. Tracking apex marine predator movements in a dynamic ocean. Nature 475:86–90, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature10082.

Boehme, L., P. Lovell, M. Biuw, F. Roquet, J. Nicholson, S. Thorpe, M.P. Meredith, and M.A. Fedak. 2009. Technical Note: Animal-borne CTD-satellite relay data loggers for real-time oceanographic data collection. Ocean Science 5:685–695, https://doi.org/10.5194/os-5-685-2009.

Charrassin, J.-B., M. Hindell, S.R. Rintoul, F. Rouquet, S. Sokolov, M. Biuw, D. Costa, L. Boehme, P. Lovell, R. Coleman, and others. 2008. Southern Ocean frontal structure and sea-ice formation rates revealed by elephant seals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105:11,634–11,639, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0800790105.

Costa, D.P., L.A. Huckstadt, D.E. Crocker, B.I. McDonald, M.E. Goebel, and M.A. Fedak. 2010. Approaches to studying climatic change and its role on the habitat selection of Antarctic pinnipeds. Integrative and Comparative Biology 50:1,018–1,030, https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icq054.

Fedak, M.A. 2004. Marine animals as platforms for oceanographic sampling: A “win/win” situation for biology and operational oceanography. Memoirs of the National Institute of Polar Research 58:133–147.

Fedak, M.A. 2013. The impact of animal platforms on polar ocean observation. Deep Sea Research Part II 88–89:7–13, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.dsr2.2012.07.007.

Hussey, N.E., S.T. Kessel, K. Aarestrup, S.J. Cooke, P.D. Cowley, A.T. Fisk, R.G. Harcourt, K.N. Holland, S.J. Iverson, J.F. Kocik, and others. 2015. Aquatic animal telemetry: A panoramic window into the underwater world. Science 348:1255642, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1255642.

Lowther, A.D., C. Lydersen, M.A. Fedak, P. Lovell, and K.M. Kovacs. 2015. The Argos-CLS Kalman Filter: Error structures and state-space modelling relative to Fastloc GPS Data. PLoS ONE 10(4):e0124754, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0124754.

Roquet, F., G. Williams, M.A. Hindell, R. Harcourt, C. McMahon, C. Guinet, J.-B. Charrassin, G. Reverdin, L. Boehme, P. Lovell, and M. Fedak. 2014. A Southern Indian Ocean database of hydrographic profiles obtained with instrumented elephant seals. Nature Scientific Data 1:140028, https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2014.28.

Treasure, A.M., F. Roquet, I.J. Ansorge, M.N. Bester, L. Boehme, H. Bornemann, J.-B. Charrassin, D. Chevallier, D.P. Costa, M.A. Fedak, and others. 2017. Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole: A review of the MEOP consortium. Oceanography 30(2):132–138, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2017.234.

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