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Research Technical Report

Identification, Counts, and Behavior of Demersal Fishes along the Central Coast of California Using a Towed Camera Sled

Huggins, J.G. (May 2009)

A Capstone Project at California State University, Monterey Bay, 21pp.


Advances in imaging technologies have led to improvements in animal population sampling and habitat characterizations in the marine environment. Optimum applications for such technologies should be assessed in order to produce robust data. Towed camera sleds are one such technology needing assessment for its application to the study of demersal fishes. This study explores the effects of behavior and habitat on identification using towed camera sled technology. Hard bottom habitats had higher proportions of species identified than soft bottom habitats. Soft bottom behaviors did not significantly affect identification, while station keeping bottom behavior in hard bottom habitats led to significantly higher proportions of species identification. Overall, the towed camera sled was more effective for studying demersal fishes in hard bottom habitats over soft bottom habitats and stationary behaviors may lead to more refined levels of taxonomic identification.