Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Tagging of Pacific Pelagic (TOPP) research project

The Tagging of Pacific Pelagic (TOPP) research project explores the Pacific, using a carefully selected group of animals from its ecosystems to gather data about their world. As a pilot program of the Census of Marine Life (COML), an international endeavor to determine what lives, has lived and will live in the world’s ocean, TOPP scientists will tag individuals from 21 species of marine predators in the Eastern Pacific to obtain an “organism’s eye” view of their world. Jointly run by Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Lab, the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Laboratory, NOAA’s Pacific Fisheries Ecosystems Lab, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, TOPP also includes team members from several countries.

TOPP tests the effectiveness of using animals to gather biological and environmental data, tracking the individuals’ movements while recording valuable oceanographic and ecosystem data from their immediate surroundings. TOPP tags have collected and returned massive quantities of this data, helping scientists build a rich picture of key travel corridors and “ocean hot spots,” or gathering zones where animals feed and breed. While several projects have tagged limited numbers of individual species, TOPP scientists and engineers lead the animal-tagging research community in building a broad, multi-taxa (group of species), interdisciplinary approach to data collection and sharing.

Read more about this great project here...

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