Computer-Equipped Fish Part of Effort to Aid Tuna

BAHIA DE ACHOTINES, Panama (Reuters) - Scientist Kurt Schaefer slices a small hole in the side of a wriggling yellowfin tuna and inserts a tiny 64 megabyte computer. Quickly he sews the slit back up, allowing just enough space for a thin fiber optic wand to protrude from the fish's side, before transferring the animal to a large seawater tank. [...]

One of the key uses of the computers is their ability to detect changes in the tuna's body temperature. "We know the tuna changes temperature when it is feeding. We want to know if it does so too when spawning. With that information we would be able know about the tuna's behavior in the open sea, estimating its reproduction rate and its position in the ocean," explains Scholey, an Irish-born biologist from Seattle who has studied tuna fish in Japan.

At a cost of $1,500 each, the computers in the tunas can record up to five years of information about a tuna's life. [...]

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2 Responses:

  1. msjen says:

    ok, why has no one commented on the phrase "computers in the tunas" yet?

    is this thing on?

  2. phygelus says:

    kind of complicated. Did you ever see the old old Scientific American "Amateur Scientist" article with the little AM transmitter that would fit in a gelatin capsule? (mercury batteries and all...) The rate of clicking would indicate body temperature.

    I just checked on my copy of "Scientific American's 'The Amateur Scientist' : The Complete 20th Century Collection on CD-ROM" and it was March 1968. Recommends that before you swallow, you pot the transmitter up in epoxy, coat it with wax, and tie it up in the tip of a rubber glove...