Archival Tags are a type of tag attached to marine animals. An Archival Tag has a tiny computer inside that records and stores data such as the temperature, salinity, and depth of the water where the tagged animals swim. These tags also record data such as light levels, heart rate, and swimming speed. The largest limitation of these tags is the difficulty in recovering the tag from the animal to get the stored data. As a result, tagging can be costly, particularly as a high percentage may not be recovered for analysis. However, more advanced tags have been developed that are much smaller, lighter, and less expensive and have a much greater memory capacity. When tagged fish are caught, part of the tag is visible and contains instructions about returning the tag to the scientists conducting the tagging study.
Small Archival Tags with a yellow marker that is attached to the outside of a fish. (Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking Project - POST)
Different types of larger Archival Tags that are secured to the outside of an animal. (Tagging of Pacific Pelagics - TOPP)