ST. PETERSBURG - With support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, scientists and technicians from the College of Marine Science and its Center for Ocean Technology, led by
Steve Murawski and Chad Lembke, have developed a unique towed camera array system (C-BASS) to allow high resolution sampling of reef fishes and simultaneous habitat evaluations. The primary motivation for the development of C-BASS is to develop absolute abundance estimates of reef fishes such as red snapper for use in setting fishery total allowable catch quotas.
Our system is equipped to process and record video from both analog and digital video cameras and currently 6 cameras are filming simultaneously. Environmental and system data sampled from an altimeter, compass, CTD, and fluorometer are also recorded. There is a laser system used to calibrate size measurements of the scenes being filmed and a Didson forward-looking sonar to detect fish movements in response to the C-BASS. The system was designed to operate in up to 250 meters of water (about 800 feet) but with modifications can be used much deeper. Two custom manufactured Bridgelux 85 watt array LED lights provide illumination for the video cameras during low light deployments. Scientific sensors, including a WETLabs FLNTU fluorometer and a Falmouth Scientific 2” Micro-CTD are installed on the frame in order to better understand the environmental aspects of the assessment. An altimeter is also mounted to the frame to ensure proper platform height above the seabed.
Initial trials and experiments with C-BASS have indicated that this system is highly capable of imaging reef fishes and assessing the habitat requirements of fishes encountered. This system has the potential to revolutionize the assessment and management of fisheries for reef fishes in Florida and throughout tropical areas of the world.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Katie S. Davis has received the Fish Florida Scholarship, awarded to students working toward improved public understanding of the marine environment. Katie is a master's student in the College of Marine Science's Population Dynamics and Marine Ecosystem Analysis Lab, and her research is focused on the assessment of benthic communities along the West Florida Shelf using a Camera-Based Assessment Survey System (C-BASS). The habitats of the West Florida Shelf support many economically-important reef fish communities and are composed of various algal, coral, and sponge species. Using video from C-BASS, and in coordination with other researchers within the College, Katie is analyzing the presence of and associations between these organisms.
Katie is also an employee of NOAA Fisheries. One of her goals is to communicate research so that the fisheries can better understand, support, and comply with regulations, and to find ways to enable the public to become more engaged in regulation-making processes. "I believe that the more people know about the marine environment, the more they will appreciate and want to protect it," she says.
"USF is fortunate to have [Katie's] talent, enthusiasm, and work ethic," says Lara Kramer, Director of the Fish Florida scholarship program, "It is Fish Florida's mission to promote public awareness of and encourage the protection of marine fisheries and coastal habitats. Supporting future fisheries research and managers with scholarship funds is just one way of doing that."
A scholarship check of $2500 was sent to the University to be applied toward Katie's tuition for the Fall 2014 semester.
About Fish Florida: www.fishfloridatag.org
About C-BASS: www.marine.usf.edu/news/the-camera-based-assessment-survey-system-c-bass/
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The project will deploy a towed camera system called C-BASS (Camera-Based Survey Assessment System). Developed at the USF Center for Marine Technology, C-BASS will be deployed to determine the density, species composition and size structure of fishes using the various habitats.
"This set of studies will use state-of-the-art ocean imaging technologies to better understand and protect habitats off the west coast of Florida,” said College of Marine Science Dean Jackie Dixon."