SoCal researchers create website allowing visitors to view ocean animal migrations, habitats

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Southern California researchers launched a website that allows visitors to see the deep depths of the Pacific Ocean without getting wet. (KABC)

Southern California researchers launched a website that allows visitors to see the deep depths of the Pacific Ocean without getting wet.

Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach, teamed up with marine researchers all across Southern California to use their high tech trackers to share information with each other and the public. The devices give viewers a chance to see an animal super highway under the sea.

"You get to see how animals move over time, and it's the insight we didn't have even 10 years ago. This technology really is a game changer," Lowe said.

The website is called SCATTN, which stands for the Southern California Acoustic Telemetry Tracking Network. The new website allows visitors to follow dozens of different animals.

Lowe said there are acoustic receivers all over the coastline. When the animal swims within a receiver, it logs the identification number, time and date that the animal came by.

Visitors can see how the animals move along the coast, with some staying close to home and others going on epic journeys. One of those animals that goes on long journeys is the shovelnose guitarfish, and their massive migration came as a big shock to researchers.

The network stretches from Santa Barbara to the border, but Mexican researchers will soon be joining, giving everyone a better understanding of how the underwater world works.

"People will be able to see that a lot of these animals cross borders and how frequently they do that," Lowe said. "That is really important education because what it does is it means that whatever we do in California to protect our population of fish also needs to be done in Mexico and vice-versa."

If you want to check out the website, head to www.scattn.org.
Related Topics:
sciencetechnologyresearchwebsitesocean conservationbeachesanimal newsLong BeachSouthern CaliforniaLos Angeles County
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