The Chinese sturgeon: How should we track them after release?
By Xing Fangyu
After Chinese sturgeons get released, how should we track them? There are four methods.
A PIT tag is a small radio transponder that contains a specific code, which allows individual fish to be assigned a long-term digital number. The tag scanner releases a radio frequency which can be identified by the receiver when a tag is within range. This is the greatest advantage of PIT tagging.
A sonar tag, or acoustic fish tag, is surgically implanted or externally attached to a fish. The tag transmits a high frequency "ping" which can be heard by receivers strategically placed around the area. It can calculate travel time and the location of the fish.
A T-shaped Tag is anchored into muscle or bone at the base of the dorsal fin. It contains identification information of the fish such as ID and phone number. If the Chinese sturgeon is caught by fishermen, they can contact the researchers.
A small number of Chinese sturgeon fin samples are taken to extract their genetic information. The researchers then build a DNA information library to know their family trees.
Check out the series "Little Secrets of Chinese Sturgeon" to find out more about this critically endangered species.