Fort Pierce, Florida - November 19, 2008 - The Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA) and its collaborators announced today the world's first use of an acoustic underwater camera to survey juveniles of goliath grouper in mangrove habitats.
Goliath grouper, Epinephelus itajara, currently is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). The largest grouper fish in the Atlantic Ocean, goliaths can exceed six feet (2 meters) in length, weigh more than 1,000 pounds and can live more than 40 years. Juveniles (up to 3 feet, or 1 meter in length) spend almost the first decade of their lives in red mangrove nurseries.
ORCA adjunct scientist Dr. Sarah Frias-Torres and her colleagues at the University of Miami successfully demonstrated how this camera system, originally developed for the U.S. Department of Defense, can be used to conduct visual underwater surveys to evaluate the recovery of the species in the US (where it is protected) or the decline of the species in the Caribbean (where protection is lacking). In the past, such observations were often hindered by murky waters and low visibility typical of red mangrove habitat.
Similar to the sophisticated sonar of dolphins, the acoustic camera (referred to as DIDSON, or dual-frequency sonar) can "see" individual fish species and habitat by using sound waves, without the need of light or good visibility conditions. The resulting image resembles a medical prenatal ultrasound used for monitoring the development of human babies. In a way, it is an ultrasound of Mother Nature.
"This technology allows me to see where human eyes can't," said Dr. Sarah Frias-Torres, ORCA adjunct scientist and lead author of the study. "It's important to be able to show how the babies hide in the mangrove roots, because it provides critical information for protecting the species and a much stronger argument for protecting the habitat."
The study was conducted in the fringing red mangrove shorelines of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. This technique has previously been used to monitor salmon migrations entering rivers and detecting fish under ice. This is the first time this system has been used in mangrove habitat.
Coastal mangroves are an important nursery and habitat for many fish and invertebrate species that eventually migrate to nearby coral reefs. Mangrove habitat is often threatened by coastal development and pollution.
DIDSON offers great potential to complement underwater fish surveys in low visibility conditions, due to high turbidity, or during nocturnal surveys.
"This is a wonderful example of how cutting edge technology can be used to protect the ocean and the species that live there," said Dr. Edith Widder, ORCA president and senior scientist.
Mike Virgintino | EurekAlert!
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy