sunfish-mThanks to a new advancement in GPS tracking technology, it is now possible to track fish in real-time. The new system lets researchers gather tracking information without retrieving the original tag attached to the fish, completely remotely. In the past, researchers were forced to tag fish, retrieve the tag, and download the information. Manually retrieving the GPS unit was probably the hardest part.

The new system works like this: every time the fish come near the surface of the water, a satellite in the sky records their position and how much time they spent in that spot. The information is used by scientists as well as governments and fisheries to track particular fish and trends. This new system was first tested on a large sunfish that scientists tracked for for nearly three months from the comfort of their laptops. This gave them a lot more information on the sunfish then they have ever had before, and proved that GPS tracking can be very useful in finding out the habits of marine life.

As of right now, these devices are a bit too big to use on most fish, but with time these devices will become smaller and more efficient, allowing us to track smaller fish such as tuna and sharks for commercial purposes. This will save millions of dollars for fisheries since they would now know the best spots to catch the fish they are seeking instead of randomly guessing where they might be traveling.

(Via Planet Earth Online)

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