SIMoN
  Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network
Monitoring Project

Deepwater Characterization and Baseline Monitoring in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Principal Investigator(s)

  • James Lindholm
    California State University, Monterey Bay
  • Andrew DeVogelaere
    Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Funding

  • SIMoN
  • Save the Earth
  • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Start Date: June 01, 2009

A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is used to collect videographic and still photographic imagery of the seafloor and associated organisms at locations throughout the Sanctuary, determined through discussions between IfAME and MBNMS. The ROV (owned by The Nature Conservancy and operated by Marine Applied Research and Exploration) is equipped with both forward- and down-looking digital still and video cameras. There are also two sets of paired 10 cm lasers for sizing of organisms and habitat features. The collection of video imagery is also conducted using a towed-camera sled configured with a single forward-facing video camera.

Videographic and still photographic imagery are collected continuously along transects of greater than 1 km. These transects encompass both sedimentary and hard substrate environments, as well as the transitional areas between the two environments that allow multi-scale sub-sampling post hoc. The ROV is “flown” at an altitude of approximately 0.5 m above the seafloor at a speed of 0.5-1.0 knots to facilitate the highest resolution possible for videographic and photographic imagery. We collect both forward looking and downward still photographic and videographic imagery of 1) topographic and micro-topographic structure on the seafloor, 2) epifaunal macro-invertebrates (both sessile and mobile), and 3) associated fishes (including selected exploited and non-exploited species).

We use a combination of best practices for data compilation and analysis derived from a comprehensive review of existing visual observation research programs, including programs at CDFG, NMFS, WSU, UCSB, MBARI and NURC. These techniques include both live and post-processing techniques and focus primarily on area-based community analyses rather than individual species. Comprehensive, frame by frame video data compilation, recording all structural and biological elements resolvable, combined with still photo techniques for higher resolution microhabitat characteristics and species identification, provide a complete geo-referenced database of habitat features and organisms suitable for a broad range of subsequent analyses.

We identify all fauna to the lowest possible taxonomic level, estimate sizes and document select habitat and microhabitat features and associations across a gradient of benthic habitats. Producing archived video and still photographic records with comprehensive data compilation allows evaluation of all community components to identify those which are most appropriate for long-term monitoring to achieve the goals identified by the MBNMS.

Summary to Date

A report providing more detailed information on the 2009 field season is listed below.

Study Parameters

  • Habitat association
  • Habitat
  • Diversity
  • Disturbance
  • Distribution
  • Substrate characterization

Study Methods

Overview of study methods: A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is used to collect videographic and still photographic imagery of the seafloor and associated organisms. The ROV is equipped with both forward- and down-looking digital still and video cameras. There are also two sets of paired 10 cm lasers for sizing of organisms and habitat features. The collection of video imagery is also conducted using a towed-camera sled configured with a single forward-facing video camera.

Videographic and still photographic imagery are collected continuously along transects of greater than 1 km. These transects encompass both sedimentary and hard substrate environments, as well as the transitional areas between the two environments that allow multi-scale sub-sampling post hoc. The ROV is “flown” at an altitude of approximately 0.5 m above the seafloor at a speed of 0.5-1.0 knots to facilitate the highest resolution possible for videographic and photographic imagery. We collect both forward looking and downward still photographic and videographic imagery of 1) topographic and micro-topographic structure on the seafloor, 2) epifaunal macro-invertebrates (both sessile and mobile), and 3) associated fishes (including selected exploited and non-exploited species).

We use a combination of best practices for data compilation and analysis derived from a comprehensive review of existing visual observation research programs, including programs at CDFG, NMFS, WSU, UCSB, MBARI and NURC. These techniques include both live and post-processing techniques and focus primarily on area-based community analyses rather than individual species. Comprehensive, frame by frame video data compilation, recording all structural and biological elements resolvable, combined with still photo techniques for higher resolution microhabitat characteristics and species identification, provide a complete geo-referenced database of habitat features and organisms suitable for a broad range of subsequent analyses.

We identify all fauna to the lowest possible taxonomic level, estimate sizes and document select habitat and microhabitat features and associations across a gradient of benthic habitats. Producing archived video and still photographic records with comprehensive data compilation allows evaluation of all community components to identify those which are most appropriate for long-term monitoring to achieve the goals identified by the MBNMS.


Figures and Images

Figure 1. ROV aboard the R/V FULMAR.


Figure 2. ROV still photograph of a rockfish, basket star and spotted prawn off Pt. Sur.


Figure 3. Map of study locations. Green lines denote MBNMS boundaries and golden lines state waters. The red lines indicate ROV tracks while blue lines denote the towed camera sled.


Documents

  • Cecchettini (2008)
    A Site Characterization of the Piedras Blancas State Marine Conservation Area Using a Towed Camera Sled
    CSUMB capstone
    305 KB PDF
  • Lindholm & DeVogelaere (2009)
    A Report on the Deepwater Characterization and Baseline Monitoring in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
    988 KB PDF file
  • Huggins (2009)
    Identification, Counts, and Behavior of Demersal Fishes along the Central Coast of California Using a Towed Camera Sled
    CSUMB Capstone
    600 KB PDF
  • Kelly (2010)
    Distribution of the Blackeye goby, Rhinogobiops nicholsi, around temperate reefs along the central coast of California
    CSUMB Capstone
    1.2 MB PDF
  • Wrubel (2010)
    A multi-scale analysis of habitat-mediated megafaunal invertebrate distribution at two locations in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
    CSUMB Capstone
    1.6 MB PDF
  • IfAME and MBNMS (2011)
    Characterizing the Deep: Surveys in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary 2007-2010
    PDF Paper 2.7 MB
  • Knight (2011)
    The distribution of demersal fishes over heterogeneous seafloor habitats: an application of landscape ecology to video imagery collected in a central California State Marine Conservation Area
    PDF paper 1.6 MB
  • Kramp (2012)
    Distribution and Habitat Associations of Spotted Ratfish (Hydrolagus colliei) in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
    CSUMB Capstone
    1.3 MB PDF
  • Aiken et al. (2014)
    Dirty Bottoms: ROV observations of marine debris
    Sanctuary Currents Symposium poster
    1.6 MB PDF