tagging squid

Apologies. Seems my phantom post is irretrievable (unless you've still got it). I'm happy that those "formidable obstacles" I went on about aren't insurmountable.

Yours truly,

will the little guys be tracked by satellite,or by something a little more mundane?
assuming that the transmitter is good for the long haul,it seems just too wonderful an idea that we'd be able to follow archi wherever he went and eventually catch up to him and study his behavior and..and..and...oh my! looks like somebodies getting a little too excited here!

here's a thought...the transmitter could be a homing beacon for a robotic sub that would follow the subject wherever it went.

i'm getting ahead of myself again aren't i? :)
Probably the greatest obstacle we face right now is raising the dollars to do this (go out looking for the larval giant again). Then there's the concern in my mind that the year we decide to do it (or raise the funds to do it; 2004 is the plan) that it will be an extremely poor year as far as larval recruitment is concerned; for this reason we propose to do both adult and larval searches.

This past summer has been positively shocking as far as adult Architeuthis captures are concerned (not necessarily a bad thing, as far as conservation of the species is concerned), but for years people have said Architeuthis occurs in abundance some decades, then disappears for several more (only one specimen caught this past summer, to my knowledge; normally we'd get 10+). Has this finally happened - the near-decade of plenty has passed and we're now into famine? We've certainly had a record number of captures in recent years (the past 8 years). I don't think so (or hope this isn't the case), but 2003 would have been a lousy year to go looking for the larva (= paralarva) if the number of adults caught is anything to go by.

It would be hard showing your face in public if you went out and caught zip second time around.
You're very quick to post ubiquity - keep on sneaking in there.

No, you'd not be able to do it by satelite (or at least I don't believe you could). You'd have to have 3-or-so receivers in the water and plot its movement/position by triangulation (or something like that ... my brain isn't functioning too well this evening). I don't think it would hang around in one place too long, so after sticking your buoys in the water you'd lose the squid within minutes, unless you could move those buoys/transmitters, or had a truckload of them in the water so that you didn't have to lift them all the time. If it escaped your path of transmitters you'd not know what happened to it (or where it got to) until the dissolving link on the transmitter broke and the buoyed transmitter floated to the surface (you could then work out how far it went between release and weak-link dissolving, but it's not telling you an awful lot).

but it's a start!
here's hoping that A.the fundage comes in hand over fist. and B.that the little devils are available to be netted!

**sending magical waves of good luck**
question for steve: why even bother with a dissolving link? couldnt more info be gleaned from following them for their whole lives?wouldnt it raise the chances of finding a live adult if you could track it, then if by some infitinitely small chance two tagged adults mate, you might get more insight.... as for the sosus idea of clem, i dont know how sensitive the net is, of course thats probably classified anyway... i dont know if there are any hydrophones down around australasia, but i assume so...found this on the web: The Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) not much but a little info... what im wondering is how powerful a transmitter could be strapped to a little guy w/o being a burden on it....
A sonar transmitter!?! Could be an excellent idea... If it were loud enough, it might frighten off the sperm whales. :lol: :wink2:

More seriously, won't you need to trail a seriously long antenna behind the radiotransmitter? High frequency radio waves don't propagate very well through water - as submarine designers know. Encumbering a squid, however "colossal" with such an impediment could seriously affect its behaviour and chances of survival.

A shorter antenna would be more practical, but a higher frequency signal wouldn't penetrate the water so well, and you would probably lose the signal below a certain depth.

I'm just pondering... :)
I wonder how well a tagged squid would tolerate any sort of embedded tracking device; tagging marine mammals, sharks and large fish is one thing: those animals have thick layers of muscle and fat in which a dart or looped cord can be embedded without too-harmful effect, and they aren't particularly dextrous.

A large squid, however, can reach any point on its surface with its tentacles, and a trailing device would probably register quickly with the squid by disrupting the smooth flow of water around its spindle-shaped, hydrodynamically efficient body; any object hanging off it might get its attention by creating a noticeable "drag" effect (if the irritation of a dart embedded in its tissue didn't get the animal's attention first). I'd worry about an Archi plucking at the transmitter with its tentacles, possibly yanking it out and causing itself deeper injury.

Then again, perhaps Archi wouldn't be too bothered by a tag. That animals conjectured ability to chemically "damp" its nervous system might allow it to tolerate an invasive procedure by producing its own localized anesthetic (a handy trait for an animal whose mating procedure is nothing if not "invasive").

I suppose we'll find out.


I know that George Jackson and Ron O'Dor were using radio trackers on reef squid off the coast of Queensland. Not sure ho they attached the trackers tho' or what they found out as they haven't published anything yet. Might need to bug George about it although he can probably retaiate by asking where the lastet version of my thesis is..........darn it!

I'll keep the list informed if I find out anything (about the trackers NOT my Thesis :) :) :) )

Serious resurrection now!
I found this site http://www.toppcensus.org/web/FeatureDetails.aspx?id=48&WG=11 by looking at shark tags. Suddenly I noticed at the top you could choose different animals, amoung them squid!
Dr. William Gilly and co. tagged Dosidicus off the Pacific coast of Baja California, in the fall of 2001 and spring 2002. I think they stuck around 2 000 squid too, so they were busy!
The site itself is very interesting and easy to follow. It includes interesting early results for the differences in depths, and pictures including which tags they were using. Now THAT would be a fun time, kicking back on a boat, pulling Humboldts out of the water, tagging them, chucking them back! Good times!

On another note, I'd be interested in hearing from the experts, or anyone else, if there are any other recent tagging projects or where this kind of research stands. On an interesting side note, Jean mentioned work being done by Ron O'Dor. I'm now at DalHousie University where he used to work at. I'm not positive, but I think he's on a 2-3 year leave of absence to work on the Census of Marine Life. Hopefully by the time he gets back I'll be in upper year of uni and be able to take some of his courses!!


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