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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 457:221-240 (2012)  -  DOI:

Ontogeny in marine tagging and tracking science: technologies and data gaps

Elliott L. Hazen1,2,*, Sara M. Maxwell3, Helen Bailey4, Steven J. Bograd2, Mark Hamann5, Philippe Gaspar6, Brendan J. Godley7, George L. Shillinger8,9

1University of Hawaii Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
2NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Environmental Research Division, Pacific Grove, California 93950, USA
3Marine Conservation Institute, Bellevue, Washington 98004, USA
4Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Solomons, Maryland 20688, USA
5School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
6Collecte Localisation Satellites, Parc Technologique du Canal, 31520 Ramonville Saint-Agne, France
7Department of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ, UK
8Tag-A-Giant Fund − The Ocean Foundation, PO Box 52074, Pacific Grove, California 93950, USA
9Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University, 99 Pacific Street, Suite 155A, Monterey, California 93940, USA

ABSTRACT: The field of marine tagging and tracking has grown rapidly in recent years as tag sizes have decreased and the diversity of sensors has increased. Tag data provide a unique view on individual movement patterns, at different scales than shipboard surveys, and have been used to discover new habitat areas, characterize oceanographic features, and delineate stock structures, among other purposes. Due to the necessity for small tag-to-body size ratio, tags have largely been deployed on adult animals, resulting in a relative paucity of data on earlier life history stages. In this study, we reviewed tagging efforts on multiple life history stages for seabirds, marine mammals, marine turtles, and fish and enumerated studies focusing on each guild that targeted larvae, juveniles or hatchlings. We found that turtles and fish had higher proportion of studies focusing on juveniles (>20%) than seabirds and marine mammals (<10%). On both juveniles and adults, tags were used in a targeted manner with passive and transmitting tags as the main tools for population demography and connectivity studies, while GPS and archival tags were used more frequently for habitat analyses and foraging ecology. These findings identify the need to focus on novel approaches in tagging multiple life history stages both to study marine predator ecology and to effectively manage marine populations.

KEY WORDS: Tagging · Tracking · Biologging · Ontogeny · Juvenile · Top predator

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Cite this article as: Hazen EL, Maxwell SM, Bailey H, Bograd SJ and others (2012) Ontogeny in marine tagging and tracking science: technologies and data gaps. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 457:221-240.

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