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What is Big BRUVver up to? Methods and uses of baited underwater video

Abstract

Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS) is a popular technique to assess mobile nektonic and demersal assemblages, particularly for fish communities. The benefits of using BRUVS have been well documented, with their non-destructive and non-extractive nature, ease to replicate, relatively-cheap personnel costs, and low risk to personnel often cited. However, there is a wide variability in the set-up, experimental design, and implementation of this method. We performed a literature review of 161 peer-reviewed studies from all continents published from 1950 to 2016 to describe how BRUVS has been used by quantitatively assessing 24 variables, including camera set-up and orientation, soak time, bait quantity, type and preparation method, habitat and depth deployed in, and number of replicates used. Such information is critical to gauge the comparability of the results obtained across BRUVS studies. Generally, there was a wide variety in the location, deployment method, bait used, and for the purpose that BRUVS was deployed. In some studies, the methods were adequately described so that they included information on the 24 variables analysed, but there were 34 % of studies which failed to report three or more variables. We present a protocol for what minimal information to include in methods sections and urge authors to include all relevant information to ensure replicability and allow adequate comparisons to be made across studies.

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We thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments which improved our manuscript.

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Correspondence to Sasha K. Whitmarsh.

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Whitmarsh, S.K., Fairweather, P.G. & Huveneers, C. What is Big BRUVver up to? Methods and uses of baited underwater video. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries 27, 53–73 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-016-9450-1

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Keywords

  • BRUVS
  • Fish assemblages
  • Nekton
  • Non-destructive
  • Behaviour
  • Methodology