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The Ocean Tracking Network joins top world organizations for International Oceanographic Data Exchange

Posted by Media Centre on April 22, 2015 in News, Research, Science

(Halifax, N.S.) – April 22, 2015 – The Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), headquartered at Dalhousie University, is the first Canadian Associate Data Unit (ADU) of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) under UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

The IODE works to “enhance marine research, exploitation and development, by facilitating the exchange of oceanographic data and information between participating Member States, and by meeting the needs of users for data and information products.” (from

  • ADUs are key stakeholders of the IODE network
  • ADUs are actively engaged in discussions around IODE ocean data management standards and best practices during IODE committee sessions
  • ADUs can receive training and assistance for ocean data management
  • ADUs share expertise with other ADUs and National Ocean Data Centres
  • ADUs are recognized, global data systems

“In being named an ADU, OTN is recognized as a world-class provider of shared data to facilitate global cooperation and enhance the structure of oceans data management,” says Fred Whoriskey, OTN executive director.

OTN is partnered with researchers in 19 countries using acoustic arrays to address critical questions about impacts on ocean ecosystems. “OTN’s ADU brings its unique and valuable international database on aquatic animal movement and habitat use into the IODE programme. Most of this was obtained by using acoustic telemetry to conduct animal-tracking studies, explains Whoriskey. “We are pleased to be one of the 11 units globally that are working to develop data management systems that augment the capacity of nations to acquire the best scientific data to address oceans issues.”

OTN is already a pilot project and system of the IOC’s Global Ocean Observing System. As an ADU, OTN will be able to weigh in on best practices for ocean data management at the highest international standards.

To learn more about the work of ADUs visit the IODE website.

Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) is a $168-million international research and technology development platform headquartered at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Starting in 2008, OTN began deploying Canadian state-of-the-art acoustic receivers and oceanographic monitoring equipment in key ocean locations globally in support of the research of over 400 international partner investigators. These studies document the movements and survival of marine animals carrying acoustic tags and document how both are influenced by oceanographic conditions.

OTN is principally funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Additional funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT), support OTN social science and research infrastructure.


Media Contact

Nikki Beauchamp
Senior Communications Officer
Ocean Tracking Network
(902) 494-4405



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