Ocean Tracking Network (OTN)

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
What the facility does

Global marine and freshwater animal tracking and oceanographic monitoring, technology development, data and networking platform.

Areas of expertise

The Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) works with local and international industry and research partners from polar to tropical zones in oceanographic monitoring, animal tracking, autonomous underwater vehicle operation, data management and marine technology development. OTN has a global infrastructure and supporting logistics.

Strong partnerships with leading national and international researchers enable collaborative research, training, and technology development in the aquatic and social sciences.

Components and areas of expertise within OTN include social sciences, oceanography, biology and zoology, marine law, data management, autonomous vehicles (Slocum gliders, Wave Glider), and acoustic tracking technology development, design and application.

OTN is hosted by Dalhousie University, a leading international marine research institution. University facilities include the Aquatron, the largest aquatic research facility in Canada. Collaborating Dalhousie-based networks include the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise, Canada Excellence Research Chair, and the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) National Center of Excellence.

Research services
  • Data acquisition
  • Data storage
  • Data management
  • Data quality control
  • Data analysis
  • Acoustic telemetry network design and operation
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping
  • ROV (Remotely operated vehicle) / AMV (Autonomous Marine Vehicle) deployment and application
Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Clean technology
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Ocean industries
  • Policy and governance
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Transportation

Specialized lab



Autonomous Marine Vehicles (AMVs) and fixed-station telemetry and oceanographic equipment

Five (5) Slocum Electric Glider AMVs

Mobile oceanographic sampling and monitoring, acoustic tracking


Wave Glider Autonomous Marine Vehicles (AMV)

Mobile oceanographic sampling and monitoring, acoustic tracking, sea-surface and weather monitoring


Acoustic receivers (global tracking infrastructure; VEMCO, VR2s, VR3s, VR4s, VR 100s, VEMCO Mobile Transceivers (VMT)

Fixed oceanographic sampling and monitoring


Acoustic and satellite tag infrastructure (global tag and receiver deployments)

Mobile oceanographic sampling and monitoring, acoustic tracking


Benthic oceanographic monitoring pods

Oceanographic sampling and monitoring, acoustic tracking, sea-surface and weather monitoring

Aarhus Universitet

Abernathy Fish Technology Center

Acadia University

Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar



Atlantic Salmon Federation


Australian Institute of Marine Science

Bedford Institute of Oceanography

Canadian Securities Institute

Cape Breton University

Carleton University

Dalhousie University

East Carolina University

Encana Corporation

ExxonMobil Corp.

Falkland Island Fisheries Department

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Global Ocean Observing System

Government of Nunavut

Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

Gulf Fisheries Centre

Institute of Ocean Sciences

James Cook University


LGL Limited

Liquid Robotics Inc.

Lotek Wireless Inc.

MacQuarie University, Australia

Margaree Salmon Association

Maritime BioLoggers

Maurice Lamontagne Institute

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Montana Rural Water Systems

Mount Allison University

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Norwegian Institute for Nature

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture

NYU Langone Medical School

Ontario Power Generation

Oregon State University

Pacific Biological Station

Pacific Salmon Commission

Pacific Salmon Foundation

Prince William Sound Science Center

Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife

Research Nova Scotia

Restigouche River Watershed Management Committee
Rhodes University
ROMOR Ocean Solutions
Salmon Association

Scottish Marine Mammal Unit

Seabird Scientific

South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity

St. Francis Xavier University

Sydney Institute of Marine Science

Technical University of Denmark

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources

United States Geological Survey

Université Laval

University of British Columbia

University of California Irvine

University of Delaware

University of Maine

University of Manitoba

University of Massachusetts

University of Northern British Columbia

University of Ottawa

University of Prince Edward Island

University of Quebec at Chicoutimi

University of Victoria

University of Waterloo

University of Windsor

Vancouver Aquarium


Veterinary College

Virginia Commonwealth

Western University

Wildlife Computers Inc.



Tracking the North Atlantic right whale: Ocean Tracking Network leveraging new technology to track whales and design interventions. https://www.innovation.ca/projects-results/research-stories/tracking-north-atlantic-right-whale

Aquatic animal telemetry: A panoramic window into the underwater world.


Torpedo ray tagged by Dalhousie University researchers.