Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Low-cost device for retrieval of moorings deployed with underwater remote release systems

D. A. Crook A C , B. J. Adair A and L. J. Hetherington A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT 0909, Australia.

B Present address: Nature Glenelg Trust, PO Box 2177, Mount Gambier, SA 5290, Australia.

C Corresponding author: Email: david.crook@cdu.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF17189
Submitted: 1 March 2017  Accepted: 30 August 2017   Published online: 21 September 2017

Abstract

Underwater acoustic and timed-release systems are commonly deployed with sensors and other equipment for ecological and oceanographic research in aquatic environments. These systems allow equipment deployed at depth to be remotely released from their moorings for retrieval. However, a current limitation is that most systems do not incorporate mechanisms for retrieval of the mooring anchor and attachments (e.g. shackles, cable). Herein we provide a detailed description and evaluation of a ‘retrieval pod’ that can be attached directly to remotely released underwater devices to facilitate mooring retrieval. The system was tested using acoustic release telemetry receivers under field conditions in a large estuary in the Northern Territory, Australia. Six receivers fitted with pods were retrieved from the field after two consecutive 6-month deployments (12 retrievals in total) with no failed mooring retrievals. Although our tests were confined to shallow depths (<8 m), it should be straightforward to modify the system for use in deeper water by increasing the spool capacity. The retrieval pods are reusable, require minimal construction skills and can be assembled from basic equipment available at most hardware or boating stores, making them a convenient and low-cost option for the retrieval of moorings deployed with remote release systems.

Additional keywords: acoustic telemetry, fish migration, mooring retrieval, oceanography, transceiver.


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