Animal-Borne Instruments


Seal wearing a Sea Mammal Research Unit Conductivity Temperature Depth tag in McMurdo Sound Antarctic. Photograph by Dan Costa.

View seasonal tracks of seals in the Southern Ocean here

Read the EuroGOOS ABI Task Team – MEOP paper, March 2017 

The EuroGOOS Animal-Borne Instruments (ABI) Task Team is a network of organizations deploying little instruments on seals and other marine mammals. These instruments provide salinity and temperature profiles as well as behavioural data about the animals and their sensitivity to global and regional-scale climate variability.

The EuroGOOS ABI Task Team was approved by the EuroGOOS 2016 General Assembly. The Task Team chair is Lars Boehme of the University of St Andrews, UK, and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS).

The EuroGOOS ABI Task Team will act as the European component in the global ABI community, MEOP, and the USA Animal Tracking Network. The ABI Task Team is developed as a framework for sharing success stories and difficulties, contribute to improving administrative procedures and regulations, and promoting and strengthening scientific synergies and cooperation. As all EuroGOOS operational task teams, the ABI Task Team will play an important role in identifying research gaps, delivering commong standards and promoting synergy, towards an integrated European Ocean Observing System (EOOS).
Specifically, the ABI Task Team will:

  • Assist in the standardization of animal-borne instrument operations, data and applications of a multi-purpose network, including: all applications of animal-borne instruments (physical and biological oceanography, animal behaviour, and management), applications to supplement other technologies (e.g. gliders, AUVs, fixed platforms), optimisation of real-time observation best practices and protocols, calibration, delayed-mode quality control, meta data, data format, and delivery.
  • Promote the integration of animal-borne instruments in ongoing and future European initiatives and identify relevant products required by end-users, foster interdisciplinary work, and support relevant proposals. 
  • Ensure data availability via the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACs) and EuroGOOS ROOS data portals, work with relevant national institutes, promote consistent data stream and data sets. 
  • Provide recommendations (from operators to end-users) on: data structure, format and dissemination (interoperability of datasets), quality control and validation procedures, technological solutions, toolboxes, and methods.