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Preparation is Underway for the West Coast Tracking Project

Our team is currently preparing for the launch of the West Coast Salmon Tracking Project! At the end of January, members of the project tracking team headed between the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides to deploy 9 acoustic receivers and 18 acoustic tags to carry out range-testing.

Getting the team out there hasn’t been easy – being up against a global pandemic and the typical Scottish weather conditions didn’t help poor Lorna or Bill, either. Undefeated, they took to the seas to deploy the receivers, providing a dress rehearsal ahead of the main event which is due to take centre stage later this Spring.

What exactly is range testing?

The range testing work allows us to identify the furthest distance a tagged smolt can be detected by the receiver. The findings from this work will help guide the final project design for the arrays, ensuring that it will give us optimal results for learning more about smolt migration routes on the West Coast of Scotland.

As this was the very first time getting out to sea since March last year, we have been working closely with our Health & Safety consultants to make sure that all plans & risk assessments have been put in place, ensuring this work is carried out safely and compliant with Covid-19 precautions. 

What happens next?

The receivers will be collected at the end of February. This will provide us with valuable time to evaluate how noisy the environment is and the subsequent best placement of the receivers to pick up passing tagged wild salmon smolts.

To learn more about the West Coast Salmon Tracking Project, which is being delivered in partnership with Marine Scotland and Fisheries Management Scotland, click here.

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