|The need for aquatic tracking networks: the permanent Belgian Acoustic Receiver Network|Reubens, J.; Verhelst, P.; van der Knaap, I; Wydooghe, B.; Milotic, T.; Deneudt, K.; Hernandez, F.; Pauwels, I. (2019). The need for aquatic tracking networks: the permanent Belgian Acoustic Receiver Network. Animal Biotelemetry 7(2): 2. https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40317-019-0164-8
Measurement > Telemetry > Biotelemetry
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Aquatic biotelemetry techniques have proven to be valuable tools to generate knowledge on species behaviour, gather oceanographic data and help in assessing effects from anthropogenic disturbances. These data types support international policies and directives, needed for species and habitat conservation. As aquatic systems are highly interconnected and cross administrative borders, optimal data gathering should be organized on a large scale. This need triggered the development of regional, national and international aquatic animal tracking network initiatives around the globe. In Belgium, a national acoustic receiver network for fish tracking, called the Permanent Belgian Acoustic Receiver Network, was set up in 2014 with different research institutes collaborating. It is a permanent network with 160 acoustic receivers and since the start, over 800 animals from 16 different fish species have been tagged and generated more than 17 million detections so far. To handle all the (meta)data generated, a data management platform was built. The central database stores all the data and has an interactive web interface that allows the users to upload, manage and explore (meta)data. In addition, the database is linked to an R-shiny application to allow the user to visualize and download the detection data. The permanent tracking network is not only a collaborative platform for exchange of data, analysis tools, devices and knowledge. It also creates opportunities to perform feasibility studies and Ph.D. studies in a cost-efficient way. The Belgian tracking network is a first step towards a Pan-European aquatic tracking network.