What acoustic telemetry can and can’t tell us about fish biology

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.15588. This is version 1 of this Preprint.

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David M.P. Jacoby , Adam T Piper


Acoustic telemetry (AT) has become ubiquitous in aquatic monitoring and fish biology, conservation and management. Since the early use of active ultrasonic tracking that required researchers to follow at a distance their species of interest, the field has diversified considerably with exciting advances in both hydrophone and transmitter technology. Once a highly specialised methodology however, AT is fast becoming a generalist tool for those wishing study or conserve fishes, leading to diversifying application by non-specialists. With this transition in mind, we evaluate exactly what AT has become useful for, discussing how the technological and analytical advances around AT can address important questions within fish biology. In doing so, we highlight the key ecological and applied research areas where AT continues to reveal crucial new insight, and in particular, when combined with complimentary research approaches. We aim to provide a comprehensive breakdown of the state of the art for the field of AT, discussing the ongoing challenges, where its strengths lie, and how future developments may revolutionise fisheries management, behavioural ecology and species protection. Through selected papers we illustrate specific applications across the broad spectrum of fish biology. By bringing together the recent and future developments in this field under categories designed to broadly capture many aspects of fish biology, we hope to offer a useful guide for the non-specialist practitioner as they attempt to navigate the dizzying array of considerations and ongoing developments within this diverse toolkit.




Animal Sciences, Aquaculture and Fisheries Life Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Zoology


Biotelemetry, conservation, movement ecology, Fisheries, Fish behaviour, tracking


Published: 2023-02-07 00:49


CC-By Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:

Data and Code Availability Statement:
No data were used in this review paper which discusses work that is already published.