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The 2017 iTAG conference was the third iTAG meeting to bring together members and associates of the iTAG network at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) in St. Petersburg, FL. The conference, themed ‘Tracking across borders’, was organized by a steering committee of individuals from throughout the Gulf of Mexico and from federal, state and academic institutions. The meeting was sponsored by VEMCO, LOTEK wireless, and SECOORA. View the full meeting report as a PDF.

A series of invited speakers addressed the conference theme of ‘Tracking across borders’ with talks focused on tracking at multiple scales, including international and national, as well as telemetry research throughout the Gulf, from Cuba to Mexico.  Eight researchers presented on individual telemetry projects in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent waters. All 69 meeting attendees participated in lunch discussion groups to exchange ideas on effective data-sharing, moving telemetry to ever deeper water, building the capacity for large marine ecosystem (and multi-basin) scale tracking, and understanding how habitat context affects movement ecology through cross site comparisons.

The meeting provided an excellent forum to gain feedback from members as well as through a panel discussion on the functionality of two important network tools which had been identified in previous meetings and made available prior to the meeting: the iTAG interactive map of receiver arrays in the Gulf and the orphan data exchange.

Although the orphan data exchange is in its infancy, it has already enabled researchers from as far away as Cape Cod to track their Great White sharks entering the Gulf of Mexico.  For more information on cool connections made through the iTAG data exchange as well as meeting photographs and real time iTAG updates, please visit the iTAG Facebook page.