River Herring Telemetry Tracking and Data Visualization for Research, Management, Education, and Outreach

William Benjamin Bray, MIT Sea Grant, Arlington, MA, United States, Robert Vincent, MIT Sea Grant, Cambridge, MA, United States and John Sheppard, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, New Bedford, MA, United States
Acoustic and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging are two commonly used methods for assessing the effectiveness of fish passage and habitat restoration. The large amount of data produced by these methods are often time consuming for analysis and difficult to visualize. MIT Sea Grant, in partnership with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, developed a river herring tracking simulation platform that is now used for management assessments, as well as education and outreach programs involving school groups and the general public. Fisheries managers are able to use the simulations to assess habitat restoration design, fish passage, and adaptive management needs, while school groups can follow individual fish movements as they learn about river herring ecology, fisheries management, and ecosystem connectivity. The simulations are an engaging tool used in outreach programs and citizen science training programs as well, increasing awareness and understanding of the world of fisheries ecology, restoration, and management for students and the general public.