Chapter

Tagging and Tracking of Marine Animals with Electronic Devices

Volume 9 of the series Reviews: Methods and Technologies in Fish Biology and Fisheries pp 145-159

Investigations of Horizontal Movements of Atlantic Swordfish Using Pop-up Satellite Archival Tags

  • John D. NeilsonAffiliated withFisheries and Oceans Canada, St. Andrews Biological Station Email author 
  • , Sean SmithAffiliated withFisheries and Oceans Canada, St. Andrews Biological Station
  • , François RoyerAffiliated withLarge Pelagics Research Center, University of New HampshireLarge Pelagics Research Center, Collecte Localisation Satellites, 8-10 rue Hermes, Parc Technologique du Canal,
  • , Stacey D. PaulAffiliated withFisheries and Oceans Canada, St. Andrews Biological Station
  • , Julie M. PorterAffiliated withFisheries and Oceans Canada, St. Andrews Biological Station
  • , Molly LutcavageAffiliated withLarge Pelagics Research Center, University of New Hampshire

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Abstract

The long-distance horizontal movements of swordfish tagged in Canadian waters are described, using information obtained from pop-up satellite archival tags. Some of the satellite tags remained attached to the fish for up to 411 days, among the longest periods of attachment of pop-up satellite tags reported for any fish species. The results to date challenge the assumption employed in current stock assessments that swordfish move freely from the western North Atlantic to the eastern North Atlantic, as no such movement has been found. The results also demonstrate a consistent pattern of movement with residence in temperate waters from June to October, followed by migration to the south into the Caribbean Sea, with fish remaining there until April. Tagged swordfish returned to temperate waters by June, with evidence of precise homing to feeding areas.

Keywords

Migrations PSAT Xiphias gladius