This wave glider detects sharks movements in real time. Photo: © Tom O'Leary
The Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) research program, part of the Census of Marine Life, aimed to apply new technologies to better understand environmental reasons for movements and behaviors of large pelagic animals in the North Pacific.
The TOPP program brought together scientists from seven countries to explore the lives of large mid-water animals such as sea turtles, birds, whales, tuna, sharks, seals and even squids. Animals that live throughout the open ocean are often hard to track, and because of this difficulty, we know little about their life cycle and habits. By using new tagging technology, the researchers were able to learn more about breeding and feeding habits, as well as migration paths of these large animals. Additionally, the tags were monitoring important oceanographic information that can help increase our knowledge about the many ocean layers.