Using remote underwater video to estimate freshwater fish species richness
Species richness records from replicated deployments of baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVS) and unbaited remote underwater video stations (UBRUVS) in shallow (<1 m) and deep (>1 m) water were compared with those obtained from using fyke nets, gillnets and beach seines. Maximum species richness (14 species) was achieved through a combination of conventional netting and camera-based techniques. Chanos chanos was the only species not recorded on camera, whereas Lutjanus argentimaculatus, Selenotoca multifasciata and Gerres filamentosus were recorded on camera in all three waterholes but were not detected by netting. BRUVSs and UBRUVSs provided versatile techniques that were effective at a range of depths and microhabitats. It is concluded that cameras warrant application in aquatic areas of high conservation value with high visibility. Non-extractive video methods are particularly desirable where threatened species are a focus of monitoring or might be encountered as by-catch in net meshes.
Journal of Fish Biology