Newsletter // Issue 3 // April 2010 // 

DST magnetic: Giving Geolocation of Fish!

In 2009 Star-Oddi launched its most advanced fish tag to-date, the DST magnetic. This type of tag has been on the top of the wishlist for many fish biologists for years; a tag that can give information on the geolocation of fish. Magnetic field strength varies around the globe, and these information are known and accesible to anyone. Data from the tags make it possible to reconstruct the migration route of the fish. The tag measures and records relative magnetic field strength and tilt, both in three directions. Additionally the depth and temperature is recorded at a user selected intervals.

The most important parameter would be the magnetic field strength that is measured in three directions providing a relative reading of the magnetic field strength at each point. The other parameters are also important when mapping out fish location at given times:
-Compass heading direction gives information on which direction the fish is swimming.

-Tilt in three directions gives a good compensation for the compass heading and thus better heading accuracy. The compass is brought to its horizontal plane even though the fish is tilting. Tilt information are also useful for behavioural analyses. 

 -Depth information can give further information about the fish whereabouts by comparing data from tag to known depth references in the area as well as comparing to tidal wave information.

-Temperature data in the tag play an important role of comparing to Sea Surface Temperature (SST) obtained by satellites. SST will provide input when positioning the fish.

Earth magnetic simulators used to find the magnetic field vectors in every GPS position are available on the internet; however these simulators do not take into account local magnetic disturbances like magnetic rocks or lava, as is the case in Iceland:
Please contact Star-Oddi for further technical information and price quote

Delivery Updates...

We would like to thank everyone who expressed their concerns about the volcano and are pleased to announce that we are all safe and sound here in Reykjavik.

However, due to flight disruptions caused by the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull , customers might experience minor delays in deliveries. This does not apply to North-America as air travel between Iceland and North-America has for the most part been on schedule. It is expected that air travel between Iceland and Europe will resume with some normalcy this week. Ship traffic between Iceland and Europe only takes a few days, if we need to use that method.

Star-Oddi has taken measures to minimize the inconveniences caused by these delays. We have stepped up production in order to process orders more quickly, giving courier services more time to operate.

We apologize for any inconveniences that this might cause and hope that things will return to normal soon.

Update on the Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull

As reported in our last newsletter, a new eruption started on the morning of April 14th in the southwest area of Eyjafjallajökull. The eruption melted a part of the glacier covering the volcano causing immense flooding which led to substantial damages to farmland and infrastructure.  About 800 residents had to be evacuated from the surrounding areas, but luckily no casualties or serious injuries were sustained.

Due to wind direction and meteorological conditions, the vast amount of volcanic ash emerging from the volcano has caused serious disruptions to air travelling in most parts of Europe leaving thousands of passengers stranded. Flights within Iceland and to North-America have however gone according to plan although with slight disruptions. As of yesterday, some restrictions are being lifted while some countries have still kept them in force for security reasons.

The ash fall has also had a great impact on the habitants who live in the vicinity of Eyjafjallajökull. People have been advised to stay indoors and wear masks if they are forced to leave their homes. Day turned into night in some areas as the sky became pitch-black caused by the heavy ash fall. Because the area is largely made up of farms, there were concerns for the health of the animals, but great effort has been made to ensure their safety. There were also reports of small birds and even ravens seeking refuge in barns and inside people’s homes.

The good news is that the volcanic activity has decreased significantly in the last few days, pouring less ash into the atmosphere. There have also been reports of increased flow of lava from one of the craters. Hopefully the volcano will become a tourist attraction instead of keeping the neighbouring areas and large parts of the world under lockdown.

Data Storage Tags - DSTs

Star-Oddi has been manufacturing and developing DSTs since 1993. The data loggers are used for various studies, such as fish tagging, fishing gear studies and oceanography. You can find our whole product range here. The following sensors are available:

Star-Oddi online

Now you can find product updates, video tutorials and general information
about Star-Oddi on:



A Trip to Eyjafjallajökull

Sigmar, Star-Oddi‘s managing director, took a trip to Eyjafjallajökull to view the volcanic eruption. In order to go on the glacier you need a specially equipped truck, a snowmobile or embark on a 6 hour hike. Whichever method you choose you need to be well prepared.

Sigmar and his family arrived in a truck and the way there was bumpy and felt like you were on the open sea. They stopped close to where the lava was flowing and were able to get excellent video of the lava flow coming down like fiery waterfalls. The ice and snow lay like chunks of gray rock amongst the cooled down lava.

As the eruption became stronger the search and rescue teams that are monitoring the area asked everyone to move away from the lava streams. Sigmar and his family moved to higher ground. As they returned to their vehicle you can see just how many people were there. They passed a line of cars as they were leaving and it felt like a busy shopping day at the mall.

"The view from atop a mountain top was great but not as awe-inspiring as the close up one. After awhile the weather conditions changed and it became foggy and more ash started to fall, a coast guard helicopter came and ordered everyone off the glacier and closed off the road to incoming traffic. It was a great experience, the weather was great, the volcano was awesome and all in all a once in a lifetime experience" Sigmar said. Click here to view his video on YouTube.

The Clown of the Ocean

Spring is upon us and with it the arrival of the many migratory birds that inhabit Iceland during the summer months. Among them is the puffin, a peculiar, but colourful seabird who comes to Iceland solely for breeding. Puffins are quite loyal and remain “faithful” to their partners and breeding ground their whole lives.

Iceland has one of the world‘s largest colonies of puffins with a population of 8-10 million. Most of the population, around 4 million puffins, breed at Heimaey which is a part of Vestmannaeyjar (Westmann Islands), a cluster of islands off the southwest coast of Iceland.

Despite its short wings, the puffin can reach up to 88 km/h by flapping its wings up to 400 times per minute. This technique also makes the puffin an extremely agile swimmer, diving to depths of about 60 meters which comes in handy as the puffin spends most of his life on sea. 
Star-Oddi | Vatnagardar 14 | 104 Reykjavik | Iceland | Tel: +354 533 6060 | Fax: +354 533 6069 | Contact  |