Impact Case Study: Animal-borne telemetry tags for conservation and weather forecasting

CTD tag on Southern elephant seal.
CTD tag on Southern elephant seal.

The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) in St Andrews designs, builds and supplies instrumentation and software essential for marine mammal tracking.

The impact of this research has been shown to be:

  • Direct economic benefit arising from the production of around 400 telemetry tags per annum, employing 8 highly skilled staff with turnover of £5.6M since 2008.
  • Companies in UK and USA supplying tag components have received over £2M since 2008.
  • Tags on Monk seals and Steller Sea Lions have enabled conservation of these endangered species whilst minimising economic hardship to fishermen.
  • Tags on elephant seals in the southern oceans have improved Global Ocean circulation models significantly, leading to better weather forecasting and consequent economic benefits to shipping, oil and gas companies.

More about our Impact and this case study…