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Fish and shark assemblage dynamics

Uncovering patterns in fish species distribution and abundance

Project lead: Timothy Langlois (UWA)

The PMCP fish and shark project research team is investigating relationships between patterns in fish species distribution and abundance and a range of habitat, environmental and geographical variables along ~340 km of coastline comprising the Pilbara bioregion.

Two primary survey methodologies are used:

PMCP Researcher Matt Birt ready to deploy a lightweight stereo-BRUV system
PMCP Researcher Matt Birt ready to deploy a lightweight stereo-BRUV system
  1. baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo-BRUVs)
  2. diver operated stereo-video (stereo-DOV)

Stereo-BRUVs are the primary method used by the PMCP fish and shark research team to conduct surveys. State-of-the-art lightweight systems have been developed and used in the world’s largest stereo-BRUV survey of fish and sharks ever undertaken. These systems can be deployed to depths >100 m.

Stereo-DOVs are used by SCUBA divers to survey fish assemblages along transects in depths of 1-20 m.

The stereo-configuration of the video systems enables accurate and precise measurements of fish length and distance from specialised software (www.seagis.com.au). The high-definition video that is collected can be repeatedly viewed for correct species identification.

Accurate and precise measurements of fish length from stereo-video imagery using EventMeasure (www.seagis.com.au)
Accurate and precise measurements of fish length from stereo-video imagery using EventMeasure (www.seagis.com.au)