Features » Innovative technology enables sampling of reef fish across South Africa’s continental shelf

By Dr Anthony Bernard

Collection of reef fish, typically found warm-temperate Agulhas Ecoregion, South Africa (pic: Steve Benjamin) Stereo-BRUV Stereo-BRUVs resting on high-profile reef, Ttsitsikamma MPA (pic: Steve Benjamin)

Management of reef ecosystems and fish resources requires balancing societal needs against the need to sustainably manage already depleted resources. Effective adaptive management policies rely on robust and current data covering the distribution of species and ecosystems. Research on subtidal reefs in South Africa faces numerous challenges and researchers at SAIAB and SAEON Elwandle Node, have been developing innovative technology to survey reef fishes of South Africa. Novel sampling techniques aim to provide standardised data to further our understanding of the ecology of South Africa’s reef fish and support effective management. Dr Anthony Bernard is Instrument Scientist at SAIAB driving the development of the Stereo Baited Remote Underwater Video (Stereo-BRUV) Platform at SAIAB. Projects developed have supported 15 post-graduate students and collaborations with nine local and three international research institutes

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Highlights from the first surveys of the mesophotic reefs in the Pondoland no-take MPA [video]

Assessment of the effectiveness of reef fish conservation in the Amathole region of South Africa [video]