A video method for quantifying size distribution, density, and three-dimensional spatial structure of reef fish spawning aggregations

Rand, Peter S. and Taylor, J. Christopher and Eggleston, David B. (2006) A video method for quantifying size distribution, density, and three-dimensional spatial structure of reef fish spawning aggregations. In: Emerging technologies for reef fisheries research. Seattle, WA, NOAA, pp. 4-9. (NOAA Professional Paper NMFS,5)

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Abstract

There is a clear need to develop fisheries independent methods to quantify individual sizes, density, and three dimensional characteristics of reef fish spawning aggregations for use in population assessments and to provide critical baseline data on reproductive life history of exploited populations. We designed, constructed, calibrated, and applied an underwater stereo-video system to estimate individual sizes and three dimensional (3D) positions of Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) at a spawning aggregation site located on a reef promontory on the western edge of Little Cayman Island, Cayman Islands, BWI, on 23 January 2003. The system consists of two free-running camcorders mounted on a meter-long bar and supported by a SCUBA diver. Paired video “stills” were captured, and nose and tail of individual fish observed in the field of view of both cameras were digitized using image analysis software. Conversion of these two dimensional screen coordinates to 3D coordinates was achieved through a matrix inversion algorithm and calibration data. Our estimate of mean total length (58.5 cm, n = 29) was in close agreement with estimated lengths from a hydroacoustic survey and from direct measures of fish size using visual census techniques. We discovered a possible bias in length measures using the video method, most likely arising from some fish orientations that were not perpendicular with respect to the optical axis of the camera system. We observed 40 individuals occupying a volume of 33.3 m3, resulting in a concentration of 1.2 individuals m–3 with a mean (SD) nearest neighbor distance of 70.0 (29.7) cm. We promote the use of roving diver stereo-videography as a method to assess the size distribution, density, and 3D spatial structure of fish spawning aggregations.

Item Type: Book Section
Title: A video method for quantifying size distribution, density, and three-dimensional spatial structure of reef fish spawning aggregations
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Rand, Peter S.
Taylor, J. Christopher
Eggleston, David B.
Title of Book: Emerging technologies for reef fisheries research
Refereed: Yes
Series Name: NOAA Professional Paper NMFS
Number: 5
Number of Pages: 124
Page Range: pp. 4-9
Date: 2006
Publisher: NOAA
Place of Publication: Seattle, WA
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Management
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 2483
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2009 23:00
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 18:56
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/2483

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