The Animal Borne Ocean Sensors (AniBOS) network, launched in 2020, represents an innovative way for observing the ocean through the eyes of marine animals. This network contributes to ocean monitoring in remote locations such as polar regions, by instrumenting marine animals with sophisticated data collection devices. The ocean information gathered by animal oceanographers not only help scientists predict climate change and the future of our ocean, but they also allow studying and protecting the animals themselves, integrating oceanography with biology.
Since marine animals travel many kilometres to find food, scientists started to fit these animals with special devices and sensors to better understand their feeding behaviour, and collect oceanographic data over long distances and at different locations. These sensors can be placed on different animals, such as elephant seals, Wedell seals and turtles. AniBOS is also exploring the possibility of fitting devices to sharks and seabirds. The type of data collected depends on the species and the animal’s life history characteristics.
Once the animal is captured and secured, the device is positioned so as not to disturb the animal's movements and behaviour before being released.
Instrumented animals are used to sample under-sampled remote ocean locations. For example, elephant seals are effective for sampling inhospitable regions around Antarctica.
Main data collected:
- Dissolved oxygen concentration
- Animal habitat
The AniBOS network delivers across the three GOOS’s critical themes of climate, ocean health and forecasts and early warnings.
Data gathered by AniBOS also enables scientists to understand how animals respond to a dynamic, changing ocean and provides a foundation for integrating that data with existing and new and emerging ocean observing networks.
If you want to learn more about this program, visit the website: https://www.meop.net/