Research of fish communities with non-invasive methods in MPAs (2014 – 2015)

Numerous methods are used to evaluate the condition of fish stocks and fish communities in the infralitoral. Frequently used non-invasive research methods are Underwater Visual Census (UVC) and Baited Remote Underwater Video System (BRUVS). Such methods of research are suitable for marine protected areas MPAs), and are an important tool for assessing the effectiveness of their protection. Such surveys, with habitat mapping, were carried out in the Croatian MPAs: National Park Mljet and the Nature Park Telascica, where colleagues from the University of Palermo joined us. Locations included in the research are locations of potential future no-take zones.

We mapped marine habitats at locations of future no-take zones, and photographed the seabed for the purposes of monitoring the changes. We also set temperature data loggers. By exploring the fish communities, we have been able to compile a list of species of fish present in the parks and evaluate their abundance. Additionally, we have been counducting the project “Monitoring of the Noble pen shell” since 2014 and we have expanded the redearch area to new locations.

With research dives, reviewing of footage and preparing bates for BRUVS were a crucial part of these research field trips.