ONLINE COURSE – Introduction to Aquatic Acoustic Telemetry (IAAT02)

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  • 20 Sep '22

ONLINE COURSE – Introduction to Aquatic Acoustic Telemetry (IAAT02)

Monday, October 3rd, 2022


Acoustic telemetry is a popular method for monitoring the movements and behaviour of aquatic animals globally. Increasingly smaller tags along with improvements in battery technology have allowed for tagging a wide variety of species and life stages, enabling monitoring of individuals as small as salmon smolts and as large as whale sharks for periods from 30 days to 10 years. In addition, with more and more tag sensor and environmental monitoring options available, telemetry datasets are becoming richer, allowing researchers to answer increasingly complex questions about why animals move where and when they do. Receiver technology also continues to evolve and increasingly allows for data to be collected at finer spatial and temporal scales than ever before. New technologies such as gliders and real-time detection systems allow broad geographic coverage and remote, real-time access to animal movement data. Additional advancements in built-in acoustic array diagnostics permit increasingly detailed analyses of system performance over time, resulting in more robust interpretation of animal movement data.

In this course you will learn about the different types of Innovasea acoustic telemetry technologies and their applicability for use in different study environments and in answering different research questions. Example applications that will be discussed include: monitoring fine-scale movements and behaviour around barriers and other structures, migration survival studies around barriers, monitoring spawning and other seasonal behaviours, real-time monitoring, home range and Marine Protected Area studies, habitat selection, species interactions, and investigating causes of mortality. This section will include a deep dive into the logistics of fine-scale positioning studies and will provide an overview of the different types of analyses that are commonly performed with positional data.

A robust telemetry study design that accounts for the advantages and limitations of different equipment options is critical to ensure a successful study. During this course, you will learn about important study design considerations such as appropriate hardware models and tag programming parameters for your study objectives, tag attachment considerations, and how to optimize your receiver placements through early and thorough testing. We will analyze an example range test dataset and discuss the implications of range test results on array design. We will also review considerations when designing moorings for your particular study environment.

To ensure successful execution of your telemetry study plan and the highest quality data, it’s important to use telemetry best practices when preparing for and during tagging and deployment. We will review best practices for acoustic telemetry equipment maintenance and care, pre-deployment testing, tips for preparing equipment and data logs, and how to test your array once deployed in the field. We will also look at how to monitor the performance of your telemetry array throughout the duration of your study, reviewing what metrics are best used to determine whether the array is operating as planned so you can have confidence in the data being collected. Finally, because interpretation of acoustic telemetry data and inferring animal behaviour from these data is often confounded by array performance questions, this course will teach you techniques for assessing system performance to aid in the correct interpretation of animal detection data. Finally, since telemetry datasets are growing larger all of the time, data management is becoming increasingly challenging. During this course you will learn about data management best practices and tools to perform basic quality assurance, basic visualizations, and basic filtering of large datasets in preparation for statistical analyses. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your own telemetry studies with the experts during a Q&A session on the final day of the course. Bring your data and your questions!

Please email any questions to

  • 5 Oct '22

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  • 20 Apr '23

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