This dataset derives from deployments of pelagic baited camera systems (stereo-BRUVS) conducted within the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR) in the Timor Sea during September and October 2012 onboard the RV Solander. This resource comprises species lists and relative abundance data (measured as MaxN, the maximum number of individuals of a given species captured in any one frame) for 116 sampling sites surveyed across three focal areas. The Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve survey was undertaken as an activity within the Australian Government's National Environmental Research Program Marine Biodiversity Hub and was the key component of Research Theme 4 - Regional Biodiversity Discovery to Support Marine Bioregional Plans. Hub partners involved in the survey included the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Geoscience Australia, the University of Western Australia, Museum Victoria and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Data acquired during the survey included: multibeam sonar bathymetry and acoustic backscatter; sub-bottom acoustic profiles; physical samples of seabed sediments, infauna and epibenthic biota; towed underwater video and still camera observations of seabed habitats; baited video observations of demersal and pelagic fish, and; oceanographic measurements of the water column from CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) casts and from deployment of sea surface drifters. Further information on the survey is available in the post-survey report published as Geoscience Australia Record 2013/38: Nichol, S.L., Howard, F.J.F., Kool, J., Stowar, M., Bouchet, P., Radke, L.,Siwabessy, J., Przeslawski, R., Picard, K., Alvarez de Glasby, B., Colquhoun, J., Letessier, T. & Heyward, A. 2013. Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (Timor Sea) Biodiversity Survey: GA0339/SOL5650 - Post Survey Report. Record 2013/38. Geoscience Australia: Canberra. (GEOCAT #76658).
A total of 116 sites were visually sampled using pelagic stereo-BRUVS. The instruments consist of two high-resolution GoPro Hero2 cameras mounted in a stereo-pair configuration on a central steel frame fitted with an adjustable bait arm. The bait chamber is designed to ensure the slow release and diffusion of bait in the water column throughout the duration of the deployment. Camera units are anchored to the seabed and tethered to a line of surface buoys to enable sampling at a variety of pre-determined depths. In this survey, suspension depth was held constant (at 10m), with units deployed manually in sets of 10 and left to soak for a minimum of two hours.
The digital footage was processed and reviewed in software EventMeasure (SeaGIS Pty Ltd, http://www.seagis.com.au/) by a team of experienced image analysts, who identified (to the lowest possible taxonomic level), counted, and marked all wildlife captured on tape.
For further methodological details, see the following (freely available) publication: Bouchet & Meeuwig. 2015. Drifting baited stereo-videography: a novel sampling tool for surveying pelagic wildlife in offshore marine reserves. Ecosphere, 6(8): 137.