Towards an Autonomous Pelagic Observatory: Experiences from Monitoring Fish Communities around Drifting FADs

Type Article
Date 2019-04
Language English
Author(s) Brehmer Patrice1, Sancho Gorka2, Trygonis Vasilis3, Itano David4, Dalen John5, Fuchs Ariel6, Faraj Abdelmalek7, Taquet Marc8
Affiliation(s) 1 : Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Campus Ifremer, Délégation régional IRD France-Ouest, UMR LEMAR, BP 7029 280 Plouzané, France
2 : College of Charleston, 205 Fort Johnson Rd, Charleston, SC 29 412, USA
3 : Department of Marine Sciences, University of the Aegean, University Hill, 81 100 Mytilene, Greece
4 : University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1000 Pope Road, MSB 312, Honolulu, HI 96 822, USA
5 : Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870, Nordnes 5817, Bergen, Norway
6 : Out-There Science Consulting, Sustainable Strategies & Opportunities, 10 rue du Levant, 34 280 La Grande Motte, France
7 : Institut National de Recherche Halieutique (INRH), Route de Sidi Abderrahmane, Casablanca, Morocco
8 : Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UMR EIO (UPF-Ifremer-IRD-ILM) BP 52998713, Papeete, French Polynesia
Source Thalassas (0212-5919) (Springer Nature America, Inc), 2019-04 , Vol. 35 , N. 1 , P. 177-189
DOI 10.1007/s41208-018-0107-9
WOS© Times Cited 12
Keyword(s) Optical, Census, Acoustics, Buoy, Seaorbiter, Biomonitoring, Conservation, Environmental monitoring, Fish, Pelagic

This work presents a methodological synthesis for the in situ monitoring of fish aggregating devices (FADs) using a combination of optical, echosounder and SCUBA observations conducted in the vicinity of drifting FADs. The acoustic methods allowed, according to the devices used, the description of the spatial organisation and dynamics of biotic scattering layers, individual fishes, schools, shoals and mammals, while visual, photographic and video observations permitted species identification within a range of 0 to ~ 25 m. Based on these results, we elaborate on the interest to combine acoustic and visual methods, and present an autonomous instrumented drifting buoy for remotely monitoring fish diversity and abundance in the pelagic ecosystems. The perspective of autonomously collecting large amounts of basic information useful for ecological and fisheries studies in an ecosystem approach for open sea, as well as coastal pelagic environment, is also emphasized. As perspective we present BSeaorbiter^ a futuristic large drifting platform which will allow performing innovative ecosystemic studies taking into account simultaneously all macro components of the pelagic ecosystem.

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