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|Survey like a BOSS: Use of a Stereo Video Lander to Survey Rocky Habitats in California
|Presenting Author Name
|Presenting Author Affiliation
|Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
|Presenting Author Email
|Type of Presentation
The West Coast groundfish fishery is composed of over 90 species, many of which are vulnerable to overfishing due to long lifespans and late age of maturity. Rockfishes in particular have been subject to overfishing, with many stocks only recently declared recovered. The primary fishery-independent data set for monitoring groundfish stocks is the annual West Coast Groundfish Bottom Trawl survey, which is conducted almost exclusively on low-relief, soft-bottom habitats. In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, we developed a lightweight, rapidly-deployable video system, known as the Benthic Observation Survey System (BOSS), which can provide us with information about rockfish species that inhabit high-relief, and therefore untrawlable habitats. The BOSS is equipped with 4 stereo camera pairs and a load-bearing fiber optic cable that allows for real-time monitoring of surveys. We use EventMeasure software (SeaGis, Australia), to analyze collected video in order to provide information about densities and length distributions of fishes. In the Fall of 2018, we spent 24 days at sea surveying the California coast from Half Moon Bay to the Channel Islands to demonstrate how our system can be used to conduct broad-scale surveys of high-relief habitats. In 2019, we continued surveys of rocky habitats in Monterey Bay and at San Clemente Island. The data collected from these and future surveys will provide valuable insight into the status of rockfish populations.