Monitoring the fish populations by BRUVS

In collaboration with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation ,Community Jameel, a philanthropic organization invested in the scientific, humanitarian and technological fields, the AMPN and Thalassa Marine Research & Environmental Awareness have implemented a new research program in the Marine Area Protected by Larvotto: the use of BRUVS technology (Baited Remote Underwater Video System) developed by the Blue Abacus Company.

The BRUVS system has been around since the 1990s but the team at Blue Abacus have revamped its design using a lightweight and robust carbon fiber material, making it easy to convert from open water use to use on the seabed. This non-lethal baited remote underwater video system makes it possible to complete the assessment of fish populations carried out each year thanks to visual censuses by underwater diving at shallow depth on two types of habitats (rock and Posidonia meadows) . Thus, new data can be acquired on other deeper habitats such as sandy/rocky bottoms located between 40 and 50 m deep inside and outside the limits of the Larvotto MPA. This will notably involve carrying out inventories on little-known wildlife populations such as pelagic fish (in open water) and demersal fish (on the seabed). Each platform consists of a central structure in which 2 high-resolution waterproof cameras are placed for stereoscopy recording (necessary for assessing fish sizes). The cameras are oriented towards an arm supporting a perforated box allowing the distribution of bait (sardines) located inside. A vertical arm is fixed on the central part in order to lower and raise the platform using a rope connected on the surface to a buoy.

Doctors Patricia VENTURA and Alexis PEY from THALASSA Marine Research deploying a BRUVS in the Larvotto Marine Protected Area.

Four sites were selected inside the MPA and four outside the MPA, located between 30 and 50 m deep on comparable habitats (sandy/rocky bottom). The measurements are carried out on the same day on all the selected sites and repeated 3 times in order to obtain independent and statistically usable data. The first campaign took place at the beginning of July, during the hot season. A second campaign took place in the cold season, in january 2024, in order to cover the seasonal migrations of different species.

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THANK YOU again to the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Community Jameel for supporting this new research program!