Animal Borne Sensors

Fish and Hurricanes

Hurricane intensity forecasting has been advanced by a new Systematically Merged Atlantic Regional Temperature and Salinity (SMARTS) climatology model that blends temperature and salinity fields from the World Ocean Atlas 2001 and Generalized Digital Environmental Model at 1/4° resolution. The two‐layer reduced gravity model framework facilitates robust daily estimates of isotherm depths from regional radar altimetry.  In addition to tracking the depth of the 26°C isotherm for hurricane intensity forecasting, several species of premier gamefish (e.g., Atlantic tarpon, blue marlin, tiger sharks) tagged with satellite‐telemetry devices equipped with temperature, depth, salinity and GPS sensors have demonstrated these species closely followed the seasonal progression of the 26°C isotherm depth during their annual migrations throughout the Gulf of Mexico, southeastern Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. Tarpon sport‐fishing alone, for example, is a $6 billion industry in the United States; however, this valuable resource is vulnerable to exploitation and environmental changes. In this research we explored how an enhanced network of animal‐borne sensor deployments integrated within the SMARTS technology framework has the unique opportunity to improve hurricane forecasts and predictions of ocean fishery dynamics.