Has OTN detected my tags?

Tag detection


The mystery tag lookup tool allows you to search for detections of your tags that have occurred across the acoustic arrays of the participants in the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) database. In some cases, OTN does not have metadata on a tag that is detected within its system. When this happens, detections of  these tags are  included in our system as “mystery” tags.

If you have not registered your tags with the OTN data system, you can use this tool to search the OTN mystery tags for records of your animals. If you have registered your tags with OTN already, you should not need to use this tool—you will receive automatic updates on tag detections as they become available.

Supply a list of your project’s deployed tags and this tool will provide you with:

  • A list of detections matching your tag from OTN’s unresolved “mystery” tags
  • The year in which these tags were detected
  • The total number of times each tag was detected
  • The general ocean regions where the tags were detected

To obtain more detailed information about the detection times and locations of your tagged animals, you will have to register your tag metadata with the OTN data system. A partially  pre-filled spreadsheet of your input tag information (metadata)  that adheres to the OTN tag metadata format will be generated as part of the result, to streamline the process of registering your tags as part of OTN. Once you complete the spreadsheet and submit it to the OTN Data Centre, your project’s data will be  registered, and you may retrieve all details on your detections, past, present, and future, of your registered tags across all OTN-affiliated receivers worldwide.

Note: detections for recently released tags (< two to three months old) may not yet be included in the OTN data system. This is due to the frequency with which receiver data is reported by OTN partners and loaded into the system.


Ready to search for your tags?

Please provide a list of tag codes in comma separated value or Excel file format (csv, xls, xlsx).

Tag cross-referencing

The OTN database is cross-compatible with other regional OTN-style nodes. OTN cross-references your project’s tags within and between these nodes and provides updates to you through detection extract files on a regular basis. There are several detection extract formats that include information about projects that were detected on your array as well as locations where your animals have been detected.

See a list of current nodes and partners here.

OTN is constantly working with other regional networks to increase compatibility on a global scale. Projects registered with OTN are periodically cross-referenced with the European Telemetry Network (ETN), and matches made between these networks will be reported to the investigators.

Visit the Data portal to view projects.

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