Over the course of the past two months, we have released two videos – Mini Mahi Tags Part 1 and Tunnels and Tags: Mini Mahi Tags Part 2. These two videos are part of our three part video series featuring one of the innovative research projects being conducted by RECOVER team member, CJ McGuigan. At the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, CJ has been using scaled down, non – data collecting “mini” tags, created for RECOVER by Wildlife Computers, assesses the impact of pop – up satellite archival tags (PSAT)on the metabolic cost and behaviors of captive mahi mahi at the UM Experimental Hatchery.
Here we present the final installment of our story, Behaviors and Tags: Mini Mahi Tags Part 3
Behavior and Tags presents the final stage of CJ’s research. The mini PSAT tags were affixed to 8 mahi, which were then placed into a research tank with 8 untagged mahi, so that the impact of these tags on behaviors, such as acceleration, average swimming speed and proximity to other fish, could be assessed. Trials were conducted three times a day, during times of moderate and active behavior, over the course of three days. From capturing the mahi behaviors with a GoPro camera and analyzing the video with Lolitrack software, we can begin to assess the impact that satellite tags have on mahi – mahi.
This research, as previously mentioned, is first of its kind and will provide a comprehensive assessment of our PSAT tags and their impact on mahi – mahi. The data will be extremely useful in the data interpretation from our 15 day research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, where the RECOVER team will be tagging wild mahi – mahi with the larger data collecting PSAT tags. Through this research, RECOVER scientists will increase their understanding of how crude oil impacts the biology of this economically and ecologically important fish.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies. An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available. The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP. For more information, visit http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/.