Marine Biology

, Volume 148, Issue 2, pp 415–425 | Cite as

A comparison of temperate reef fish assemblages recorded by three underwater stereo-video techniques

  • Dianne L. WatsonEmail author
  • Euan S. Harvey
  • Marti J. Anderson
  • Gary A. Kendrick
Research Article


Three underwater stereo-video techniques were used to sample the relative densities and species richness of temperate reef fish assemblages at three reef locations and two habitats (high- and low-relief reef) within Hamelin Bay, south-western Australia. The three techniques compared were diver-operated stereo-video strip transects, baited remote stereo-video and unbaited remote stereo-video. While unbaited remote stereo-video and diver-operated stereo-video transects recorded greater species richness at high compared to low-relief reefs, baited remote stereo-video recorded similar species richness at the two habitat types. The diver-operated stereo-video system was manoeuvred through caves and under overhangs recording small, cryptic, cave-dwelling species that were not recorded by either remote video techniques (Trachinops noarlungae, Trachinops brauni, Chromis klunzingeri, Trachichthys australis). Both remote video techniques recorded greater species richness and relative density of the most common species of Labridae, Ophthalmolepsis lineolatus. Baited remote video recorded the rarer, large predatory fish species (e.g. Seriola hippos, Glaucosoma hebraicum, Heterodontus portusjacksoni). None of the techniques sampled small cryptic fish families such as Gobiidae or Blenniidae. A combination of survey techniques is recommended for comprehensive fishery-independent studies that aim to sample broad components of fish assemblages.


Species Richness Fish Assemblage Assemblage Structure Scuba Diver Great Species Richness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was conducted with financial assistance from The University of Western Australia and the Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management (Coastal CRC). We thank Dave Gull, Simon Grove and Ben Toohey for their assistance in the field, the marine group and Coastal CRC colleagues for comments on the draft of the manuscript and Dave Gull for analysis of video images. We also greatly appreciate The Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) for their permission to use the facilities at Hamelin Bay.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dianne L. Watson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Euan S. Harvey
    • 1
  • Marti J. Anderson
    • 2
  • Gary A. Kendrick
    • 1
  1. 1.CRC for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management, School of Plant BiologyThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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