Integrating Natural and Artificial Tags to Reconstruct Fish Migrations and Ontogenetic Niche Shifts

MyTag gathers an interdisciplinary team to develop and integrate the use of natural and artificial markers to study fish migrations. By using state of the art techniques, this project aims to resolve ontogenic movements at fine spatial and temporal scales, namely reproductive migrations, estuarine colonization and nursery habitat use.

The innovative aspect of this project is the integration of both natural and artificial tags, and the development and application of new technological solutions for tracking marine fish populations – using autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) – aiming at deeper insights into fish movements.

The project comprises the following main activities:

  • Test and selection of acoustic markers and external tags.
  • Development of new approaches for tracking marine fish migrations with ASVs.
  • Reconstruction of life-history migrations using natural markers.
  • Use of artificial tags on fish, including external tags for mark-and-recapture experience, and acoustic tags to be tracked by ASVs.
  • Integration of all natural and artificial tags results to disclosure the species’ major life-history events, as spawning migrations, estuarine nursery colonization and differential habitat use.

Such innovative approach will allow a comprehensive understanding of connectivity and links between different life history stages, and unravel the plasticity of life history strategies. Ultimately, MyTag implements a new multi-tag approach and innovative techniques applicable to many species worldwide.

Reference: PTDC/MAR-EST/2098/2014
Duration: December 2015 to November 2018
Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal)

Funding agency:

Scientific Research and Technological Development Projects - 2014