The power of the OTN initiative comes from the partnerships that are required to ensure reliable and thorough data collection. The vision is to build a worldwide network and infrastructure that provide — for the first time in history — a clear and constant picture of marine life and ocean conditions around the globe. To accomplish that, OTN will bring together international scientists from academia, the government, and industry from around the world.
This map was created by Dan Ricard, Dalhousie University, using GMT.
Dalhousie University's key Canadian collaborators include academic researchers at Memorial University, Université Laval, University of Manitoba, University of British Columbia, and University of Victoria, to name a few, and government scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Pacific Biological Station, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, and Freshwater Institute.
OTN data will be used by policy makers, decision makers, planners, managers, industries, corporations, nonprofit sectors, nongovernmental organizations, and government agencies throughout Canada, such as Environment Canada, Parks Canada, and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.
Many internationally renowned scientists will also join with scientists from Dalhousie University to lead OTN. Through the strength and respect of colleagues worldwide, all 14 of OTN's ocean regions will be well represented.
Institutions such as the University of Tasmania, University of Hawaii, and Rhodes University in South Africa have joined the network. Stanford University, Hokkaido University (Japan), and the Centro de Ciências do Mar (Portugal) are just a few of the other international collaborators.
Although OTN is revolutionary in its scope and technology, it is building on the work of pilot efforts that have shown great success. The POST project has been monitoring wild salmon with acoustic tags since 2004, along some 1,750 km of coastline off the west coast of North America, from Oregon to Alaska. The TOPP project in California has been fitting large ocean animals with archival tags that can be read by satellites, providing key data about their movements and ocean conditions. TOPP scientists have tagged individuals from 21 species of marine predators in the East Pacific Ocean to obtain an "organism's eye" view of their world.
Both POST and TOPP are projects of CoML, an international endeavour to determine what lives, has lived, and will live in the world's oceans. As a CoML affiliated project, OTN will integrate and globalize the technologies demonstrated by POST and TOPP.