Vol. 44, n.1, March 2003
Acoustic tracking methods in the Natural Marine Reserve of Miramare: monitoring the movements of target species inside a marine protected area, a case study
M. Picciulin, M. Umani, M. Costantini, M. Spoto and E.A. Ferrero
Received, January 27, 2003; accepted February 10, 2003
Here we describe the experimental set-up and outline the procedure for monitoring the movement of two target species, the European lobster (Homarus gammmarus) and the brown meagre (Sciaena umbra), by means of acoustic tracking systems. European lobsters are commercially important and actually over-exploited crustaceans; the brown meagre is a sonic fish, which has been protected since 1995 by the RAC-SPA Barcelona convention (UNEP annex 3 of RAC-SPA protocol). Both animals display a night activity and this characteristic makes their behaviour very difficult to study. We used two different acoustic tracking systems to check the short-term behaviour of individuals released inside the Miramare marine protected area in the summers of 2001 and 2002. In presenting our results, we discuss (1) the different methods of tagging animals with acoustic transmitter tags, (2) the benefits and disadvantages of the two tracking systems and (3) the relevance of the acoustic tracking method from the viewpoint of monitoring and restocking purposes.
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