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Patterns in the Local Distribution of the Sea Whip, Halipteris willemoesi, in an Area Impacted by Mobile Fishing Gear

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While conducting a larger project along the continental shelf off central California in June 2006, we encountered a large patch of sea whips (Halipteris willemoesi) in an area that was actively fished by vessels using otter trawls. A total of 10 transects were conducted using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to collect video imagery of seafloor communities. Video records allowed us to quantify sea whip density and to calculate the densities of upright and damaged or broken sea whips. Though the transects were sited within a dense aggregation of trawl tracks, we recorded significant variability in sea whip densities across transects. While subtle differences in water depth among transects may have contributed to the variability in sea whip density, we suggest that the distribution of trawling effort is a more likely explanation.

Document Type: Short Communication


Publication date: December 1, 2008

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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