A primary aim of the AST’s tracking coordinator, Dr. Matt Newton is to form collaborations between groups using telemetry to understand more about salmon and sea trout migration and survival. The first basic step in doing this is understanding where those groups are. This week Matt has travelled to the Flanders Marine Institute in Belgium (VLIZ) http://www.vliz.be/en to meet with researchers who are forming the European Telemetry Network. Dr. Jan Reubens and colleagues at VLIZ have been working on a telemetry database for two years now and it provides an exciting platform for the formation of collaborations, open data and resource sharing. At the basic level the database will enable users to see where neighbouring projects are. However it has been developed further to enable to incorporation of tagging data. It is possible to upload detection data and tag data to the database thus helping identify if fish have been detected on neighbouring telemetry networks. This is particularly important for migratory species such as salmon which have the potential to transit through multiple telemetry arrays.
The database is undergoing some significant upgrades in the coming months and is expected to be rolled out to the wider telemetry users across Europe in 2018. The AST will be helping promote the database within the UK, the more projects stored within the database will enable a more holistic view of fish movements around the British Isles.