Analysing migrations of Atlantic cod Gadus morhua in the north-east Atlantic Ocean: then, now and the future


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The application of data storage tags bears the potential for a quantum leap in the research on fish migrations, because not only first-capture and recapture positions are known, but at least theoretically, the migration path during the period at large can be reconstructed. Position, however, cannot be measured directly but has to be estimated using the available data on light, temperature, pressure and salinity. The reconstructed locations based on advanced estimation techniques have been termed geolocations. Examples are discussed which illustrate the applicability of geolocations in individual path descriptions, separation of reproductively isolated populations, timing and areas of spawning, tidal transport and use of protected areas. The examples are based on archival tag data from the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea and Faroese and Icelandic Waters. Besides presenting the state-of-the-art geolocations for cod Gadus morhua in the north-east Atlantic Ocean, the major aim of this review is to raise awareness of gaps in knowledge and to identify ideas for new research.