[Coral-List] Deep sea survey techniques

Garnet Hooper garnethooper at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 5 18:16:57 EDT 2016

Hi Ivan,

Can you be a bit more specific about what you need to sample (e.g. Water depth range and biological/environmental targets for analysis) or your study objectives?

There are a number of techniques that are applicable for water depths of 200m+, e.g. Benthic trawls, pelagic trawls, box cores, core samplers, Remotely Operated Video (ROVs), Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs,) towed or drop down video, Sediment Profile Imagery (SPI), possibly in certain circumstances Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUVs), video systems mounted on other samplers (e.g. Benthic grabs or trawls) or even possibly drifter systems. However, each has its own advantages and technical limitations (which include operating depth). 

In addition, you also need to consider the limitations of your team (especially when considering using novel techniques) and the vessel you're using to deploy your survey equipment (e.g. How much winch wire of the correct rating can fit on the winch drum). I've used, and been involved in projects that have used, a number of these systems in up to 600 m water depth.

Best regards,


Dr Garnet Hooper
Director/Principal Marine Ecologist
Marine Ecological Services,
Perth, Western Australia

> On 4 Apr 2016, at 7:28 PM, Ivan Steward <ivansteward at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello Coral Listers,
> I'm wondering if anyone might be happy to point me in the direction of resources regarding current or novel benthic habitat and fisheries monitoring and assessment methods / techniques / equipment for deep ocean surveys  (say, beyond the epipelagic zone around 200m depth).
> Any first hand testimony of what has and what has not worked / yielded useful results would also be greatly appreciated.
> Kind regards,
> Ivan
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