Photo: MARE/TNC (right)
Research & Development
The need to decrease the cost of deepwater monitoring and develop more cost efficient technologies is urgent. Current deepwater monitoring costs are substantial ($4,000 to $12,000 per day).
Yet federal, state and private foundation budgets are contracting, and the demand for studying and monitoring failing marine resources is expanding - particularly in California with the implementation of the state’s network of marine protected areas.
With decreased costs as our goal, MARE is developing several new technologies. Among these is technology to collect data on fish size.
Fish size is an indicator of the future health of a fishery. Within species, size closely correlates with age, and fish produce exponentially more offspring as they age. Some fish don’t even reach reproductive maturity until they’re 20 years old!
Remote fish sizing technologies will dramatically reduce the cost of gathering data on fish size. Currently, the only accepted methods of gathering such data are to use trawl surveys or send people (either divers or people in manned submarines) to directly view fish in their habitats. Trawl surveys kill the fish they are designed to study; manned submersible surveys are extraordinarily expensive; and diver surveys are limited in depth and duration.