A field and video annotation guide for baited remote underwater stereo-video surveys of demersal fish assemblages
1. Baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo-BRUVs) are a popular tool to sample demersal fish assemblages and gather data on their relative abundance and body size structure in a robust, cost-effective and non-invasive manner. Given the rapid uptake of the method, subtle differences have emerged in the way stereo-BRUVs are deployed and how the resulting imagery is annotated. These disparities limit the interoperability of datasets obtained across studies, preventing broadscale insights into the dynamics of ecological systems.
2. We provide the first globally accepted guide for using stereo-BRUVs to survey demersal fish assemblages and associated benthic habitats.
3. Information on stereo-BRUVs design, camera settings, field operations and image annotation are outlined. Additionally, we provide links to protocols for data validation, archiving and sharing.
4. Globally, the use of stereo-BRUVs is spreading rapidly. We provide a standardized protocol that will reduce methodological variation among researchers and encourage the use of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable workflows to increase the ability to synthesize global datasets and answer a broad suite of ecological questions.
Progress towards a nationally integrated benthic biodiversity monitoring program for Australia’s marine realm
This report provides an overview of key Australian benthic biodiversity monitoring programs and datasets able to be utilised nationally to form the background to broader integrated programs for reporting on the State of the marine environment and similar end-user needs. It includes an overview of the associated databases, that together with the background programs, provide a suitable framework for establishing and supporting a nationally-integrated monitoring program. It will inform future decisions on how to best further develop the tools and programs. The report identified significant progress in benthic surveys in recent years, including development of appropriate, open-access databases. A key limitation for many programs is the lack of adequate support for access to cost-effective coastal research vessels with the capability of deploying scientific equipment or supporting remote operations. There is also a need for greater levels of integration between the agencies.