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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Arctic acoustic telemetry for fish and fisheries management in Svalbard

Awarded: NOK 0.47 mill.

The Svalbard Telemetry Networking and Workshop is an effort to connect with stakeholders and users and develop the necessary preliminary steps towards a functional and scalable marine animal tracking infrastructure in the high Arctic. Acoustic telemetry has become one of the most important tools for aquatic animal ecology, providing unprecedented insight into the ways in which animals move and interact with each other and their environment. As the Arctic changes rapidly, telemetry has great potential to provide the means with which to track animal distributions and stresses at scale and develop mitigations and management plans for the Arctic. Our consortium has experience working in the high Arctic and with acoustic telemetry and has a short-term plan to find financing for acoustic telemetry infrastructure in the fjords of western Svalbard, including a recent application to the MARINFORSK work programme for work in Kongsfjorden on polar cod and Atlantic cod in the context of Arctic Atlantification. This project has both networking and workshop components. Three days will be spent on networking activities in Longyearbyen with the project team connecting with SIOS, UNIS, and other research and management stakeholders in Svalbard to share the benefits of tracking infrastructure and integrating acoustic telemetry within the Arctic observing system developed by SIOS. We hope to show that this is a feasible and agile technology that can provide value added to multiple environmental monitoring and research programs ongoing in Svalbard. A smaller two-day workshop will take place right after, in Ny-Ålesund, to develop methods for deploying gear and survey the marine area for appropriate deployment locations. A deployment plan will be developed from the workshop and shared openly for future potential users in the area interested in developing acoustic telemetry.

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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum