Grey reef shark at Ningaloo. Image credit: Andrew Boomer, SIMS.


Data from the IMOS Animal Tracking infrastructure is highlighted in a special issue of Marine and Freshwater Research 

The special issue showcases the important role that acoustic telemetry plays in the management of aquatic systems across Australia, and highlights how the IMOS acoustic telemetry network helps to achieve this.

Acoustic telemetry is used to investigate a diverse suite of questions regarding the biology and ecology of a range of aquatic species, and is an important tool for fisheries and conversation management.

The lead paper written by Dr. Matt Taylor presents a brief review of the Australian acoustic telemetry literature in the context of key areas of progress, drawing from several recent studies and identifying areas for future progress. Acoustic telemetry has been increasingly used in Australia over the past decade.

Through the IMOS Animal Tracking Facility there has been substantial investment in a national acoustic array and the associated development of a national acoustic telemetry database ( that enables tag deployment and detection data to be shared among researchers.

Acoustic telemetry has contributed to important areas of management, including public safety, design and management of marine protected areas, the use of closures in fisheries management, informing environmental flow regimes and the impacts of fisheries enhancements, and is most powerful when used as a complementary tool. However, individual variability in movement often confounds our ability to draw general conclusions when attempting to characterise broad-scale patterns, and more work is required to address this issue.

The review paper provides insight into the important role that acoustic telemetry plays in the research and management of Australian aquatic ecosystems. Application of the technology transcends aquatic environments and bureaucracies, and the patterns revealed are relevant to many of the contemporary challenges facing decision makers with oversight of aquatic populations or ecosystems.

The special issue also included several contributions on freshwater systems, however 10 of the 15 papers use the IMOS Animal Tracking infrastructure and include the following titles:

The full special issue can be found at

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