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Research Technical Report

An Approach to the Collection, Processing, and Analysis of Towed Camera Video Imagery for Marine Resource Management

Knight, A., J. Lindholm, A. DeVogelaere, and F. Watson (July/August 2014)

Marine Technology Society Journal 48(4):86-95


A variety of video and photographic imaging platforms are used to survey seafloor habitats and organisms beyond the effective depth of most SCUBA diving (>30 m). Each platform has benefits and shortcomings, with the most frequently limiting factors being (a) access to the most advanced instruments, (b) response of organisms, and (c) resolution of organism identification. Here, we describe the approaches used to collect, process, and analyze video imagery collected with a simple towed camera sled in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary as part of a larger, ongoing characterization project that began in 2006. We describe the details of deployment, imagery collection, postprocessing, and analyses gleaned from hundreds of hours of underwater video. Data extracted from camera sled imagery have been analyzed using multivariate model comparison techniques and have been represented in a variety of forms to support management needs and public outreach efforts.