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Underwater video techniques for observing coastal marine biodiversity: A review of sixty years of publications (1952–2012)

March 18, 2014

Underwater video techniques are increasingly used in marine ecology studies. Technological progress regarding video cameras, sensors (such as sounders), battery life and information storage make these techniques now accessible to a majority of users. However, diver-based underwater visual censuses, and catch and effort data, remain the most commonly used for observing coastal biodiversity and species. In this paper, we review the underwater video techniques that have been developed since the 1950s to investigate and/or monitor coastal biodiversity. Techniques such as remote underwater video, whether baited or not, diver-operated video and towed video are described, along with corresponding applications in the field. We then analyse the complementary of techniques, first from studies comparing video techniques with other observation techniques, whether video-based or not, and second by documenting their respective cost efficiencies. These findings are discussed with respect to current challenges in monitoring and investigating coastal biodiversity. Video should be more often considered and used, either in addition to or as an alternative to diver-based, fishing and acoustic techniques, as it may be particularly suited for monitoring coastal biodiversity in a variety of areas and on larger scales than hitherto and within an ecosystem-based approach to management and conservation.

  •  Mallet D,
  •  Pelletier D, 2014: Underwater video techniques for observing coastal marine biodiversity: A review of sixty years of publications (1952–2012), Fisheries Research, 154, 44-62, doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2014.01.019. Article.
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