Overlap in fish assemblages observed using pelagic and benthic baited remote underwater video stations

Thomas Clarke, Sasha Whitmarsh, Peter Fairweather, Charlie Huveneers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVS) are increasing in popularity as non-invasive and fishery-independent tools for assessing fish assemblages. Although most BRUVS studies have focused on benthic fish communities, recent studies also use BRUVS to examine the comparatively undersampled pelagic communities. However, the propensities of benthic BRUVS to detect pelagic fishes and, likewise, pelagic BRUVS to detect demersal fishes are unknown. This study simultaneously used benthic and pelagic BRUVS deployed either separately (single) or in combination to determine assemblages of demersal and pelagic species at three contrasting sites within temperate South Australia. Assemblages observed by benthic v. pelagic BRUVS differed significantly at all sites, including one as shallow as 7 m deep, but there were no significant differences in assemblages observed between BRUVS of the same position (i.e. pelagic or benthic) when BRUVS were deployed as single units or in combination. This study reveals the limitations of using only benthic or pelagic BRUVS, and highlights the necessity for both BRUVS positions to be used together to ensure that a comprehensive representation of entire fish assemblages throughout the water column can be obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-880
Number of pages11
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
Issue number6
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • communities
  • demersal
  • MaxN
  • monitoring methods
  • multivariate analysis
  • water column


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