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Developing the SeaBED AUV as a tool for conducting routine surveys of fish and their habitat in the Pacific

By: Whitmire, C.; Clarke, M.E.; Singh, H.; Ferguson, S.; Rooney, J.; Taylor, J.; Anderson, J.; Fruh, E.;

2010 / IEEE / 978-1-61284-981-2

Description

This item was taken from the IEEE Conference ' Developing the SeaBED AUV as a tool for conducting routine surveys of fish and their habitat in the Pacific ' The Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) and the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) are collaborating with researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to develop the SeaBED autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) to overcome the challenges in surveying fish in inaccessible habitats. Traditional survey techniques such as bottom trawls are of limited applicability in such areas due to the rocky, rugose terrain. Fish in marine protected areas must also be surveyed using non-lethal methods. Furthermore, monitoring deeper coral reefs are difficult since many important habitats are below depths that can be surveyed by divers. Hover-capable bottom-tracking AUVs offer a unique tool that is appropriate for work in such areas. We present preliminary results from two surveys: one of deep water corals on a mesophotic coral reef near Guam and another of demersal fishes on rocky reefs off southern California. We discuss some developments needed to utilize this tool for future routine surveys and assessments.