TOPP has to date tracked thousands of individual Pacific Ocean animals spanning 21 top predator species, including whales, tuna, elephant seals, seabirds, sea turtles and sharks.
"Tiny microprocessors and sophisticated remote sensing systems now make it possible for scientists to explore the vast reaches of the open ocean from the perspective of the marine animals, whose extraordinary travels make them highly effective 'oceanographers'," says the project's Principal Investigator, Prof. Barbara Block of Stanford University.
"TOPP is excited to be part of this new Ocean Tracking Network and the promise it holds of enlarging the number and variety of species under surveillance throughout a new, integrated global network."
Changing the way the world sees the oceans
Dr. O'Dor says the Ocean Tracking Network has agreed with local authorities to install an initial new array in Prince William Sound to track salmon sharks in the northern Gulf of Alaska region.
And he says partners to track marine animals and the state of ocean conditions have been identified on all continents.
The OTN plans a highly interconnected network that spans 14 ocean regions: The Arctic and Southern Oceans, the Indian Ocean (East, West), the Atlantic (NE, NW, SE, SW), the Mediterranean, and the Pacific (NE, NW, SE, SW and Mid-ocean).
The group says funding sought from Canada of roughly US$32 million to supply the Canadian array technology would potentially leverage total spending by all partners estimated at US $150 million in such areas as ship time, tagging, data harvesting and interpretation.