Spawning Sites: How Does GIS Help in Tracking Spawning Sites?
Spawning sites refer to the regions in the water where fish and other aquatic animals release their eggs. It is called spawning. Every aquatic animal has to migrate a lot in order to find the spawning ground where they can release the eggs. The main purpose of GIS in the spawning field is to identify the areas that lead the fish and other species towards their spawning grounds.
One of the reasons why the tool is used is to help scientists come up with techniques that can help them identify the most viable routes for the fish to reach their spawning sites as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Most importantly, the satellite-based images give scientists a clear picture of the water, as well as the obstacles that might stop the fish from locating these areas. Based on this data, the researchers take necessary steps to remove these obstacles and facilitate a hassle-free and quick movement of the aquatic animals towards the spawning sites.
Take Forage Fish, for example. Not only does it require a lot of migration for finding the spawning site, but this fish species needs plenty of time for migrating to the feeding and nursery grounds. A stock of herrings has their nursery ground located in Northern Norway, while spawning land is in Southern Norway.
Their feeding ground is in Iceland. So, a tool that can help identify the spawning ground and other habitat locations for different species of fish are mandatory. GIS (geographic information tool) has been considered the scientists' most reliable choice for not only tracking the spawning, feeding, and nursery grounds but for monitoring these areas. The spawning sites for each aquatic animal are different. No matter how far these are located from their habitat, the aquatic animals are supposed to travel all the way to the new location in order to lay their eggs.
Why Do New Fish Species Need Protection?
Unfortunately, many spawning sites in the oceans are under threat because of human activities and exploitation. That’s why scientists are often on the lookout for ways to implement conservation strategies that can protect the spawning sites from further damage and ensure a safe and quick movement of the aquatic animals towards these areas.
Not only for the young species of these animals but preservation of the spawning sites is necessary for the river ecosystem as well. The spawning sites offer a perfect atmosphere for the eggs to grow into healthy fish. From managing their metabolism to taking care of their health, everything in the spawning site is favorable for the growth of these species. The new species need protection from predators. Sadly, the fish leaves the eggs immediately, making them highly prone to predator attacks and other damages. The spawning site caters to the survival needs of the embryos. Once they have developed, these small fish species have to go hunt for food themselves, which can further put their life at risk.