logo-cls

Pas de contenu pour le moment

Albatrosses tend to be attracted by fishing boats, which is one of the main threats on the species. The bycatch risk is usually assessed by comparing albatrosses’ and (legal) boats locations. Illegal fishing grounds are less easy to pinpoint, though, except that the boats keep their radar on, an emission which can be detected if albatrosses are fitted with the right devices. The Ocean Sentinel project from CEBC/CNRS tested this with promising results

Photo: Great albatross equipped with a Centurion beacon, on the island of La Possession, in the Crozet archipelago, in the southern Indian Ocean. Alexandre Corbeau/CEBC/CNRS Photothèque

 

Location of fishing vessels: a key information for marine wildlife protection

Where are the fishing floats? The answer to this question is not an easy one. If a number of regulations, especially in the Exclusive Economic Zones of each country, tend to impose location systems on every fishing vessel (Vessel Monitoring Systems, VMS), they can be switched off, and international waters are not subject to such regulations. For now, the assessment of bycatch risks for wildlife (as described e.g. in “Argos helps in assessing fisheries bycatch risks to seabirds”) is based on voluntary declaration using Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMSs) or indirectly through the use of Automatic Identification Systems (AISs)mostly, but with the certainty of missing at least the illegal part of fishing efforts.

 

Developing a new tag

If the ships can switch off their Automatic Identification System, they are keeping their radar on for safety reasons, especially in an area like the Southern Ocean with noticeable risks of encountering an iceberg, or other vessels.

So, if those radar emissions can be detected by a geolocated device, the ship will be located. CEBC has developed with Sextant Technology a logger (XGPS) which provides the global positioning system (GPS) location of the mobile fitted with it and which detects radar emissions. Adding a GPS antenna, a processor and memory, an Argos antenna for real-time data transmission, a battery and a solar panel able to charge it, two versions of a platform were tested (Centurion and XArgos), weighting respectively 65 and 55 g. The difference is an internal archive memory which needs to be retrieved to be uploaded for XGPS, or a real-time retrieval of the data through Argos.

 

The albatross, Ocean Sentinel

Albatrosses are among the species often bycaught by fishing vessels in the Southern Ocean, since they tend to be attracted by the fishing boats from up to 30 km away (especially adult individuals) and can try to catch the baits or the fish taken on the long lines. They also are large seabirds (6-12 kg) which roam the full extent of the Southern Ocean, able to make a full tour of the Earth at latitudes of 30 – 70°S in less than 2 months.

For those reasons, fitting some of them with the new devices seems a good test of the concept.

Animal tracking with Argos

 

Six-month testing

169 wandering (Diomedea exulans) and Amsterdam (Diomedea amsterdamensis) albatrosses were equipped on Crozet, Kerguelen or Amsterdam Island with one of the two platforms, depending if they were in breeding period (and thus returning to their nesting island regularly) or not (in the case or juveniles and non breeding adults).

During that period, the GPS locations whenever radar emission were detected by the birds’ platforms were compared with AIS/VMS locations – or with their absence. 632,333 GPS locations of albatrosses were retrieved, together with 5,108 radar detections, representing interactions with 353 different boats. The birds covered together an area of more than 47 million km2.

Southern Indian Ocean with the tracks of Crozet wandering albatrosses, Kerguelen wandering albatrosses, and Amsterdam albatrosses

Southern Indian Ocean with the tracks of Crozet wandering albatrosses (green), Kerguelen wandering albatrosses (orange), and Amsterdam albatrosses (blue). Yellow markers show radar detections; yellow line, the EEZ limits (credit CEBC/CNRS)

A zoom on Kerguelen EEZ zone
Zoom on Kerguelen EEZ zone. (credit CEBC/CNRS)
 

 

The locations of the radar detections without AIS were also compared with bathymetry and international or EEZ waters. It appeared that slightly more than 28% of the radar detections were not accompanied by an AIS emission within 30 km, with a difference between international and EEZ waters: considerably more AIS were off in international waters (nearly 37 %) than in the EEZs. Within those, however, local authorities can decide to prosecute the illegal fishing.

 

Location of radar detection with AIS associated and no AIS associated
Location of radar detection with AIS associated (green dots) and no AIS associated (red dots). blue line; kernel 90% of all birds, blue zone; kernel 50%, limits of EEZs yellow line. (credit CEBC/CNRS)

 

The first results of this Ocean Sentinel program clearly show that animals can improve our surveillance capacity in very isolated oceanic sectors. The test was made on albatrosses, but can be replicated in other situations where large-enough, far-ranging seabirds are attracted by fishing boats.

Contact the Argos team

 

Reference & links

Great albatross equipped with a Centurion beacon

31.05.2021 Animal tracking applications Albatrosses detect illegal fishing boats

Albatrosses tend to be attracted by fishing boats, which is one of the main threats on the species. The bycatch risk is usually assessed by comparing albatrosses’ and (legal) boats locations. Illegal fishing grounds are less easy to pinpoint, though, except that the boats keep their radar on,…
jaguar

14.05.2021 Animal tracking applications Jaguars in need of increasing biosphere reserve

Jaguars are one of the emblematic animals throughout the Americas. As most large terrestrial predators, it is threatened of extinction. Tracking them using Argos satellite telemetry enable to better understand their need in terms of available space and of environment. Photo Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)  …
A rehabilitated loggerhead turtle after release fitted with an Argos PTT

26.04.2021 Animal tracking applications How do sea turtles fare after being rehabilitated and released?

Sea turtle rehabilitation centres are becoming increasingly important to threatened sea turtle populations around the world. However, one key question is whether rehabilitation is actually helpful to sea turtle populations; do sea turtles survive in the wild after being rehabilitated and released? Photo: A rehabilitated loggerhead turtle after…
Michel Sarthou, Technical Director at Kinéis

14.04.2021 ANGELS nanosatellite Backstage pass: Kinéis constellation update

If you had to describe Argos in two words, what it would be? According to Michel Sarthou, Chief Technical Officer at Kinéis, former Head of Argos space segment at CNES (French Space Agency) it would be: “Success Story”. Many may not know this but the first…
a common nighthawk

12.04.2021 Animal tracking applications Common nighthawk populations do not stay apart during migrations

The common nighthawk is an American migratory bird, traveling long distances between North America and Tropical South America. For their conservation and understanding, biologists study if their different populations remain separated, or if they mix at some places(s) or time(s) during their migrations. Photo: a…
Thomas Gray, CLS expert, holding a goniometer

07.04.2021 Goniometer Three Top Tips for using your Goniometer with Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray joined the Argos team in 2016 and has quickly become our go-to person on all things Goniometer. He brings ten years of sales and marketing experience in the underwater tech realm previously working for an Argos satellite tag manufacturer. Some of Thomas’ favorite activities…
Emperor penguins

31.03.2021 Animal tracking applications Argos helps in revealing how juvenile emperor penguins learn to feed

Emperor penguins and their young are emblematic of Antarctica. Argos satellite telemetry enabled to track the adults quite early. Now the scientists are looking at how the juveniles are learning to forage in the ocean, all on their own. Photo: juvenile emperor penguins; the leftmost one seems…
Glider found with goniometer

26.03.2021 Argos news & events Lost Glider at sea found thanks to Argos and Goniometer

Gliders are valuable platforms in terms of equipment but also in terms of the vital information they collect. It is therefore not surprising that many of them are equipped with small Argos beacons in order to recover them in case of loss at sea. Currently, these Argos beacons…
Antarctic fur seal and chinstrap penguin with an Argos PTT

16.03.2021 Animal tracking applications How male Antarctic fur seals compete with fisheries and penguins for krill

Krill is at the base of the food-chain near Antarctica. It is also fished, with regulations enforced in regions where endangered species are also feeding on it. However, other species can also compete for this particular resource. Argos helps in assessing the foraging areas of male Antarctic fur…
A pronghorn (credit P. Jones – Alberta Conservation Association)

01.03.2021 Animal tracking applications Pronghorn migration across borders and human-made landscapes

Mapping of ungulate migration habitat is important for their conservation. Pronghorn are an endemic species of North America (Canada, USA, and Mexico), migrating between different regions. Satellite telemetry helps in modelling what can hinder pronghorn migration and in taking steps to smooth their paths. Photo: A pronghorn (credit P. Jones…
young polar bears

18.02.2021 Argos news & events Feedback from the field: Kineis – the Future of Argos

 “The new system looks very promising for us. I think it’s a great step forward, this is a major advancement which is coming at a critical juncture in the conservation of polar bears as the climate continues to warm, this is going to be a valuable tool. We are…
A marine turtle with an Argos PTT (credit Dr. Kristen Hart, USGS)

16.02.2021 Animal tracking applications How endangered species such as marine turtles use Marine Protected Areas?

Marine Protected Areas are one of the main instruments for endangered species protection. Argos can help in defining  their outlines to have the best impact, especially when a large number of tracks is available for habitat analysis and modelling. Example with marine turtles in the Floridian ecoregion. Photo: A marine…
Bottle released in the water

02.02.2021 Oceanography and meteorological applications Tracking plastic bottles from rivers to ocean

Plastic in the environment, especially in the ocean, is a major pollution concern currently. If it is well established that most of it comes from land through rivers, how far and by which path? A study using open-source Argos chipsets in bottles to track them tries to give an answer…
Mahi-Mahi fish

29.01.2021 Animal tracking applications The Argos Goniometer recovers data of a tagged fish eaten by a predator

Scientists Chiang, Wei-Chuan (Riyar) & Shian-Jhong Lin, from Eastern Marine Biology Research Center of Fisheries Research Center, Taiwan and Michael K. Musyl from Pelagic Research Group LLC, have been studying the movement patterns and habitat preferences of Dolphinfish in Taitung. They recently recovered an Argos archival tag,…
an Amazonian black skimmer

19.01.2021 Animal tracking applications Modelling Amazonian black skimmers habitat use

The Amazon Rainforest is hard to reach, but home to a large number of species. Birds like the Amazonian black skimmers live apart of their life there, but move around a lot. Argos satellite telemetry enable researchers to analyze mathematically the birds’ use of the environment, so as to better…
An oriental white stork with a microwave's GPS Argos PTT (photo Fukui Prefecture)

04.01.2021 Animal tracking applications Restoring rice paddies to help oriental white stork reintroduction success in Japan

Considering the suitability of the environment is the key to successfully reintroduce a species in an habitat where it disappeared. Oriental white stork disappeared from Japan fifty years ago,. The species reintroduction is now beginning , while their natural wetland habitats are declining, but may be compensate by man-made rice…
a sea turtle with an Argos PTT (credit Kelonia)

21.12.2020 Animal tracking applications Sea turtles in tropical cyclones

Collecting sea turtle-borne temperature and depth sensor data with Argos satellite telemetry tags helps to sample the first 100 m layer of tropical oceans, where tropical storms and cyclones take their energy. It also enables to understand the behaviour of sea turtles trapped in extreme events such as tropical cyclones.
A gull-billed tern diving (© Katharine S. Goodenough)

07.12.2020 Animal tracking applications Gull-billed terns keep their migration route and winter sites from year to year

Migratory birds may keep the same routes and the same nesting and wintering sites from year to year. Such species may be all the more fragile if environmental changes occur. Argos satellite telemetry enables researchers to be able to pinpoint those species, which may need more attention for conservation actions.

26.11.2020 Animal tracking applications Whale sharks in St. Helena, Atlantic Ocean

Whale sharks are found in all tropical waters around the globe, including in the Atlantic Ocean. Some places could host their reproduction, thus being critical places to protect and potentially important study sites. Argos satellite telemetry helps in trying to unveil the still remaining mysteries of this species.  …
whale shark

16.11.2020 Animal tracking applications News alert: Argos data provides shocking evidence to legitimize Marine Protected Areas

Since 1978 the ARGOS System has been used to improve scientists’ knowledge regarding animal behavior. However, Whale Sharks remain one of the biggest mysteries of the Oceans but thanks to technology we are discovering more and more. Jonathan Green, Founder & Director of the…
the captured Beck’s petrel with its Argos PTT on (credits Bill Morris New Zealand)

12.11.2020 Animal tracking applications Unveiling the mysteries of a scarcely known seabird, the Beck’s petrel

Some species can be mostly unknown even nowadays. Beck’s petrel, a seabird living around Papua-New Guinea island is among them. Understanding where they breed, live can enable to protect them. Argos satellite telemetry helps by enabling to track them during long periods and ranges. Photo: the captured Beck’s petrel with…
ANGELS Kinéis nanosatellite

05.11.2020 Argos news & events Challenge: Make SPACE for a Sustainable Planet

This challenge is powered by CLS and its subsidiary Kinéis.   Want to make a difference? Do you want to help the planet? Or at least contribute to it? Want to innovate usefully, to be an active member of the next world? Want to use new technologies and NewSpace to…
Earth view from space

29.10.2020 Argos news & events CLS Response to COVID-19

In an unprecedented context, France has had to take strict measures once again to protect its citizens. CLS is committed to providing its full support in the fight against the spread of the virus. Our aim is to act responsibly, following the recommendations of the WHO and the…
A grey-headed albatross chick with an attached PTT (the aerial can be seen coming from the back of the bird). (credit Derren Fox)

27.10.2020 Animal tracking applications Is tracking marine animals really useful for their conservation?

One of the most frequent rationale to fit animals with tracking devices is to help in conservation actions and regulations. In the case of marine animals, is this argument only (or mostly) a wish, or are there real consequences consecutive to tracking studies? Do we see a real use of…
webinar animal tracking

15.10.2020 Animal tracking applications [WEBINAR] Animal tracking: The future of wildlife telemetry is coming

Since 1978, the ARGOS Data Collection System has served the international wildlife community. With the Kinéis constellation carrying onboard Argos-4 instruments, the metamorphosis of ARGOS is coming. Join us to learn about the future of wildlife telemetry! Thursday 5th November at 10am CET…
ANGELS Kinéis nanosatellite

13.10.2020 ANGELS nanosatellite ANGELS satellite operational from 13th October 2020

As you all know, on December, 18th 2019, the successful launch of the first ANGELS nanosatellite, developed by CNES, HEMERIA and Thales Alenia Space, ANGELS marked the beginning of the metamorphosis of the Argos system. We received the first signal of Angels at…

08.10.2020 Animal tracking applications Dugong movements and habitat use in coral reef lagoons

Dugongs are vulnerable herbivorous marine mammals living in tropical and subtropical coastal waters, including in coral reef lagoons. Their behaviour there is however little known. Argos enabled to track them in such environments around New Caledonia. Photo: a dugong (credit Matthieu Juncker) Authors: Christophe Cleguer (lead), Claire Garrigue, Helene Marsh…
a black-tailed godwit with an Argos PTT (credit Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences)

05.10.2020 Animal tracking applications Black-tailed godwits’ different migration behaviours

Migratory birds from a given species are frequently observed to follow the same routes, and do so every year. Tracking different populations with Argos satellite telemetry shows a very different picture for some populations of the black-tailed godwit. Understanding why will need even more tracking. Photo: a black-tailed godwit with…
A male pectoral sandpiper with an Argos PTT (credit: Max Planck Institute for Ornithology)

14.09.2020 Animal tracking applications Winds influence where male pectoral sandpipers will try and breed

Some migratory birds change their breeding sites every year, or even several times in a season. Pectoral sandpipers are among them, and understanding their breeding behaviour thanks to Argos satellite telemetry can help to better protect them.   Photo: A male pectoral sandpiper with an Argos PTT (credit: Max Planck…
Green turtle with an Argos PTT (credit E. Lancelot)

31.08.2020 Animal tracking applications Juvenile green turtle individuals behave differently, satellite telemetry reveals

Tracking the behaviour of a large number of juvenile green turtles in contrasting environments using satellite telemetry enables to show behavioural differences across individuals. Photo: Green turtle with an Argos PTT (credit E. Lancelot)   The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is one of the seven species of sea turtles…