open access publication

Article, 2024

Electronic tagging and tracking aquatic animals to understand a world increasingly shaped by a changing climate and extreme weather events

CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES, ISSN 0706-652X, 0706-652X, Volume 81, 3, Pages 326-339, 10.1139/cjfas-2023-0145


Lennox, Robert J. (Corresponding author) [1] [2] [3] Afonso, Pedro 0000-0002-4618-2589 [4] Birnie-Gauvin, K. 0000-0001-9242-0560 [5] Dahlmo, Lotte S. [3] [6] Nilsen, Cecilie I. 0000-0002-8634-639X [6] Arlinghaus, R. 0000-0003-2861-527X [7] [8] Cooke, Steven J. [9] Souza, Allan T. 0000-0003-1399-5978 [10] [11] [12] Jaric, Ivan [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] Prchalova, Marie [11] [12] Riha, Milan [11] [12] Westrelin, Samuel 0000-0002-0169-1363 [17] Twardek, William [18] Aspillaga, Eneko [19] [20] [21] Kraft, Sebastian [22] Ċ mejkal, Marek 0000-0002-7887-6411 [11] [12] Baktoft, Henrik 0000-0002-3644-4960 [5] Brodin, Tomas [23] Hellstrom, Gustav [23] Villegas-Rios, David [21] [24] Vollset, Knut Wiik [3] Adam, Timo [25] Sortland, Lene K. [5] Bertram, Michael 0000-0001-5320-8444 [23] [26] [27] [28] Crossa, Marcelo [29] Vogel, Emma F. 0000-0002-4635-2015 [30] Gillies, Natasha 0000-0002-9950-609X [31] Reubens, Jan [32]


  1. [1] Dalhousie Univ, Dept Biol, Ocean Tracking Network, Halifax, NS, Canada
  2. [NORA names: Canada; America, North; OECD];
  3. [2] NINA, Hogskoleringen 9, N-7034 Trondheim, Norway
  4. [NORA names: Norway; Europe, Non-EU; Nordic; OECD];
  5. [3] NORCE Norwegian Res Ctr, Lab Freshwater Ecol & Inland Fisheries, Nygardsgaten 112, N-5008 Bergen, Norway
  6. [NORA names: Norway; Europe, Non-EU; Nordic; OECD];
  7. [4] IMAR Inst Marine Res, Inst Marine Res IMAR, R Prof Dr Frederico Machado 4, P-9901862 Horta, Portugal
  8. [NORA names: Portugal; Europe, EU; OECD];
  9. [5] Tech Univ Denmark, Sect Freshwater Fisheries & Ecol, Vejlsovej 39, DK-8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
  10. [NORA names: DTU Technical University of Denmark; University; Denmark; Europe, EU; Nordic; OECD];


Despite great promise for understanding the impacts and extent of climate change and extreme weather events on aquatic animals, their species, and ecological communities, it is surprising that electronic tagging and tracking tools, like biotelemetry and biologging, have not been extensively used to understand climate change or develop and evaluate potential interventions that may help adapt to its impacts. In this review, we provide an overview of methodologies and study designs that leverage available electronic tracking tools to investigate aspects of climate change and extreme weather events in aquatic ecosystems. Key interventions to protect aquatic life from the impacts of climate change, including habitat restoration, protected areas, conservation translocations, mitigations against interactive effects of climate change, and simulation of future scenarios, can all be greatly facilitated by using electronic tagging and tracking. We anticipate that adopting animal tracking to identify phenotypes, species, or ecosystems that are vulnerable or resilient to climate change will help in applying management interventions such as fisheries management, habitat restoration, invasive species control, or enhancement measures that prevent extinction and strengthen the resilience of communities against the most damaging effects of climate change. Given the scalability and increasing accessibility of animal tracking tools for researchers, tracking individual organisms will hopefully also facilitate research into effective solutions and interventions against the most extreme and acute impacts on species, populations, and ecosystems.


PSAT, acoustic telemetry, applied ecology, electronic tagging, global warming

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