Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halfway through the Race, and half the tags are up!

The past several weeks have been really amazing here at our lab.  As many of you know, for the past 10 years we have been leading the "Tagging of Pacific Predators" (TOPP) program, which is one of the field programs of the global Census of Marine Life.  Over the past decade the TOPP team has put out more than 4,300 tags on 23 different species of open ocean animals, including whales, sharks, tunas, seabirds, seals, sea lions, turtles and even squid.  We've amassed more than 335,000 days of tracking data - and in the end, we've learned a lot about how the open ocean ecosystem works.  The Great Marlin Race is one of several "TOPP Partner" programs, which have contributed even more data, from a wider variety of species, to the TOPP effort.

Last week in London we celebrated "A Decade of Discovery" in London, with the public roll-out of all the Census findings.  If  you've watched the news at all, you probably saw something about this.  It was really an amazing event, and it has really been an honor to be part of such a monumental scientific achievement.

In case you didn't see the website, we did have a couple more tags pop up since my last update.  We had one tag report from about 775 nautical miles southwest of Hawaii, in the same general vicinity of the two tags that preceded it; and then we had another one show up 1363 nm away - much further east than the other tags we've seen so far.

So we're now roughly halfway through the race, and we've heard from 5 of the 10 tags we deployed.  We're starting to see some interesting tracks from the first three tags, which I'll be sharing with you soon.  And as always, I'll be checking for more tags to come up!

Best wishes,