Near real time satellite tracking of striped marlin (Kajikia audax) movements in the Pacific Ocean
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- Holdsworth, J.C., Sippel, T.J. & Block, B.A. Mar Biol (2009) 156: 505. doi:10.1007/s00227-008-1104-y
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High-resolution satellite locations were obtained from striped marlin using Argos transmitters attached to the upper lobe of the caudal fin. Twenty-six striped marlin were tagged off New Zealand (2005–2007) and tracked as far as the central Pacific Ocean. Caudal fin mounted Argos tags generated 1,524 locations during a total of 659 tracking days [mean 25 (±21.24) days per fish and 2.3 (±2.30) locations per day]. 38% of locations have an estimated accuracy of ±1 km or better. Displacement rates from high quality locations ranged from 2.9 to 170.8 km in a 24 h period, with a mode at 20–30 km and a mean of 45 km/day. The caudal fin attachment methodology and antenna configuration was adjusted each season to improve transmission life and data quality, with the best results obtained in the last year of deployments (2007). The longest track duration was 102 days, with a total displacement of 4,959 km and a total track distance from all locations received of 6,850 km. Tag shedding and antenna failure appear to have limited the duration of tracks from SPOT tags. The high temporal and spatial resolution data revealed behaviours not previously observed in striped marlin, including associations to subsurface bathymetric features. High resolution location data such as these are useful inputs for statistical models used to investigate habitat selection and switching between different behavioural modes. The geolocations calculated using ukfsst estimates from PAT tag data had RMS errors of 1.01° latitude and 0.59° longitude when compared with SPOT tag Argos locations.