Standard Talk (15 mins) Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2022

A continental-scale acoustic telemetry network to monitor movements and distributions of Australian aquatic species (#41)

Fabrice Jaine 1 2 , Phil McDowall 1 , Emma Bowen 1 , Leanne Currey-Randall 3 , Adam Barnett 4 , Stacy Bierwagen 3 , Ross Dwyer 5 , Charlie Huveneers 6 , Paul Butcher 7 , Matt Taylor 7 , Dan Ierodiaconou 8 , Stephen Newman 9 , Adrian Gleiss 10 , Vinay Udyawer 11 , Jayson Semmens 12 , Toby Patterson 13 , Rob Harcourt 1 2
  1. Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) Animal Tracking Facility, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Mosman, NSW, Australia
  2. School of Natural Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW, Australia
  3. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, QLD, Australia
  4. James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia
  5. University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD, Australia
  6. Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  7. New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
  8. Deakin University, Warnambool, VIC, Australia
  9. Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Perth, WA, Australia
  10. Murdoch University, Perth, WA, Australia
  11. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Darwin, NT, Australia
  12. University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia
  13. Commonwealth Scientific Research Organisation, Hobart, TAS, Australia

Over the last 15 years, the Animal Tracking Facility of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS,,.au) has collected data on the movements and presence of commercially and recreationally important aquatic species as well as species of conservation concern, using a continental acoustic telemetry network. Over 10,730 transmitters have been deployed on 162 aquatic species and tracked over a range of scales from hundreds of metres to thousands of kilometres, yielding over 127 million occurrence records around coastal Australia. The receiver network includes a permanent array of IMOS acoustic receivers deployed at strategic locations, complemented by hundreds of receivers owned and deployed by co-investment partners, with all resulting data centralised into a national database owned and managed by IMOS for the research community. Much of this work has derived from, or been driven by, state agencies’ or conservation needs. In recent years, the IMOS Animal Tracking Facility has focused on optimising the continental infrastructure network, producing tools to facilitate data management, visualisation and analysis, and integrating with other data providers such as the Atlas of Living Australia and the EcoCommons online species distribution modelling platform to facilitate uptake of IMOS publicly available data by decision-makers. As marine environments continue to change, understanding the occurrence and movements of marine species and populations has become crucial to effective and sustainable management. The IMOS Animal Tracking Facility plays a strategic role in coordinating efforts to monitor aquatic species of national relevance at the continental scale.