Friday, 27 Mar, 2009 Technology

Latest Invention: New Device to Help Observe Large Groups of Fish


Now with the help of their latest invention in technology researchers can track the movement of large groups of fish while they get together into shoals and then split up. The first successful observation of the way fish gather, took place off Georges Bank near Cape Cod, Mass..

The team of researchers led by Nicholas C. Makris, a professor of mechanical and ocean engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, managed to watch as the herring gathers in groups and with dawn returns to deeper waters and spreads out.

Their latest invention scientists called Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing. The device managed to observe the shoals 25 miles across, which is a much wider area if compared to previously used echo-sounders.

In addition, the Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing helps scientists to analyze the behavior of animals in more detailed way, which was impossible in the past.

Using their latest invention, researchers increase their chances in confirming theories stating that when groups of fish, birds or locusts achieve a specific population density, their behavior becomes more organized and they act synchronically, reports National Geographic.

"Understanding these processes could be relevant to the management of ocean fisheries practices at a time when many schooling oceanic fish species are being overfished," said zoology professor Robert Blake of the University of British Columbia.

It is worth mentioning that the research was backed by the Federal National Oceanographic Partnership Program, the Office of Naval Research as well as the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It was published in a report of the journal Science.

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