Drifting baited stereo-videography: A novel sampling tool for surveying pelagic wildlife in offshore marine reserves

P. J. Bouchet*, J. J. Meeuwig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a novel system of drifting pelagic baited stereo-video cameras that operate in deep-water, topographically complex environments typically considered inaccessible for sampling. The instruments are portable, semi-autonomous and inexpensive, allowing the recording of high-definition video footage in near-real time and over broad stretches of ocean space. We illustrate their benefits and potential as non-extractive monitoring tools for offshore marine reserves with a pilot study conducted within the newly established Perth Canyon Commonwealth Marine Reserve, southwestern Australia (32 degrees S, 115 degrees E). Using occupancy and maximum entropy models, we predict the distribution of midwater fishes and sharks and show that their most suitable habitat encompasses a wider fraction of the canyon head than is covered by park boundaries. Our proof-of-concept study demonstrates that drifting pelagic stereo-video cameras can serve as appropriate field platforms for the construction of species distribution models with implications for ocean zoning and conservation planning efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137
Number of pages29
JournalEcosphere
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

Keywords

  • biodiversity monitoring
  • marine reserve
  • marine spatial planning
  • MaxEnt
  • mid-water BRUVS
  • occupancy modeling
  • offshore sampling
  • pelagic fish and sharks
  • Perth Canyon
  • stereo-videography
  • Western Australia
  • wildlife conservation
  • SPECIES DISTRIBUTION MODELS
  • UNDERWATER VIDEO STATIONS
  • ESTIMATING SITE OCCUPANCY
  • PRESENCE-ABSENCE DATA
  • PRESENCE-ONLY DATA
  • PROTECTED AREAS
  • IMPERFECT DETECTION
  • SUBMARINE CANYONS
  • FISH ASSEMBLAGES
  • HABITAT MODELS

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