Microchips and animals have a long history of successful collaboration. Through the use of RFID, or radio frequency identification, it is possible to monitor the movements and migrations of marine animals and wildlife. Thanks to this technology, momentous progress has been made in the areas of preservation and conservation management, domestic pet tracking, and sustainable resources for the fishery industry. The actual microchip is, as its name implies, small and discreet, but packed with technology that gives us a unique perspective into the natural processes of our world and the human impact upon it.
There are two basic categories of microchip applications that can be utilized for data collection. The first is attached via piercing while the other is an implant that is injected under the skin. Pierced chips can be flags or buttons and are typically attached to the ear or the posterior fin of fish. The implanted are embedded in the target object and consist of a RFID chip encapsulated by glass. Some are as small as a grain of rice. Both types of microchips are integrated circuits that wirelessly transmit data by means of electromagnetic fields, and some are even powered by the electromagnetic RF signal that is used to collect the data.
After marked success in durable wilderness scenarios, the microchip has become popular with pet owners, breeders, and shelter organizations. The microchip allows a dog or cat to be identified quickly and safely in the event they run away, get lost, or are stolen. Shelters are beginning to provide free chip implant devices for the animals they adopt out in order to provide better aftercare. Breeders are also using microchips to manage their inventory and supply a valuable feature at the same time. Microchips are a popular way to stay prepared in the event of airline errors when traveling, and when owners live in areas prone to natural disasters.
The use of microchips in marine biology has greatly improved our understanding of migration patterns. In particular, the Brown and Rainbow trout are heavily monitored in order to better understand their spawning habits. Knowing where the trout breed, thanks to RFID chips, provides researchers with insight into mortality rates and sheds light on ways to protect the young.
Microchip data displayed declining numbers among many species due to human development or influence. The resulting efforts have been a compromise between industry, wanting the technology for fishing, and conservation that was focused on protecting the native species. While the fishery industries and the preservation societies may seem to be polar opposites, their interests are the same and therefore, they make great allies. Both industries seek an abundance of marine life, and microchip technology has helped achieve this while propelling thousands of businesses that in turn create exponentially more jobs.
The use of microchips to tag animals and fish has grown rapidly since the mid-eighties, opening further jobs in the design, manufacturing, and distribution sectors. Their data can return a lost pet, protect a new one, or follow objects for observation and study. These tiny electronic geniuses provide information that has been instrumental in the conservation of dwindling populations, and the future of the fishing industry.