New Land-Based Acoustic Receivers Installed on Kona Coast Allowing Experts to Improve Animal Tracking

May 31, 2022, 3:41 PM HST
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The Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology shark research group recently installed land-based acoustic receivers, called motes, on high ground at three sites along the Kona Coast.

These motes can significantly increase the data acquired from satellite-linked transmitters on animals such as turtles, whales and sharks. Whereas satellite coverage can be sparse, motes capture virtually all transmissions occurring within their line-of-site footprint.

“Placing motes as high as possible gives them maximum detection range — up to 60 miles offshore,” according to the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System, or PacIOOS. “Two of the new installations are on private property and one is on the Pu‘u Anahulu State Game Management Area.”

PacIOOS says the motes will augment the units already installed on Maui and O‘ahu, and there are plans to install additional units on Kaua‘i. The resulting array will greatly enhance telemetry capabilities throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands islands.

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