Forty sea bass fishes will soon be equipped with a tracer. In this way, the fish will be monitored at sea and scientists will be able to collect data. The project, the first of its kind worldwide with sea bass fishes, is conducted by the Flemish Marine Institute (Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee, VLIZ) within the Lifewatch context.
Since 2010, sea bass stocks have diminished in the southern portion of the North Sea. Aiming at supporting a durability policy, the VLIZ will launch this operation of transmitter-equipped sea bass during the summer. These transmitters will allow researchers to follow the fish’s route all while measuring the depth and temperature of the water. In 2018, the VLIZ will equip 40 bass with a transmitter.
In order to collect its data, the VLIZ launches an appeal to experienced commercial or amateur sea bass fishermen, so as to assist in equipping with a tracer these reputedly problem fish. The Institute also requests fishermen or any person who might find an orange-colored tracer, to return it. For if a fish dies, its transmitter could be found, for example, on a beach.
The technique being used is not new. The VLIZ works since 2014 with a network of 170 stations that receive various experiment data. Since the beginning, more than 800 animals of 14 different sorts have been equipped with a tracer and followed by the Institute.