Remote Video Revisited: A Visual Technique for Conducting Long-term Monitoring of Reef Fishes on the Continental Shelf
Abstract:Fisheries observation data collected at similar times and frequencies as hydrographic data could contribute significantly to the development of models for predicting responses of fish assemblages to changing environmental conditions. Traditional collections of fishery observation data rarely occur with sufficient temporal replication for modeling; however, remotely collected underwater video data represents a promising remedy. In August 1999, an experimental underwater fish habitat and video data collection system were established on the middle continental shelf off the coast of Georgia. Short (10 s) video data files were collected hourly during daylight and transmitted 72 km to shore by microwave once daily. An extraordinarily large and valuable dataset was generated despite technical problems, which precluded data collection during more than half of the days within the 1999-2002 study period. Evaluation of 5,590 usable video files from 429 observation days resulted in documentation of presence, relative abundance and behavior for at least 50 species, including several highly migratory pelagic species for which little scientific data exists. Future efforts of this ongoing study will attempt to mitigate technical problems discovered during 1999-2002. Expansion of automated visual sampling to numerous index stations along the continental shelf has the potential of greatly complementing infrequent and expensive sampling cruises to collect ecological and behavioral data.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-06-01
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