Underwater Mischief Captured on Camera
Discover the curious Reef creatures lured to our underwater cameras.
Our oceans are home to a vast array of underwater species, but understanding the variety and abundance of marine life in specific areas can be challenging. So as part of our dedicated fish monitoring program, we placed underwater cameras rigged with food in strategic locations and waited to see which species could be lured out of hiding. As it turned out, fish weren’t the only creatures that took the bait.
Together with the Australian Institute of Marine Science and other partners, we set up these baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVS) at 31 sites across the length and breadth of the Great Barrier Reef, in areas both open and closed to fishing.
Hammerhead Shark lured to the BRUV on the Central Great Barrier Reef: Australian Institute of Marine Science
A large stingray swims over to study the bait: Australian Institute of Marine Science
The stations were positioned on the seafloor and when animals approached, the camera recorded their behaviour. The team deployed more than 700 BRUVS and 134 remotely operated vehicles (ROVS) to capture more than 720 hours of footage.
The footage was later analysed by specialists to identify species, track their movements and monitor changes in the underwater environment.
The research team will return at the end of 2023 to undertake a second round of surveys at the same monitoring sites to help them detect changes in these fish communities.
Coral Trout Recorded During Surveys of the Northern Great Barrier Reef: Australian Institute of Marine Science
Deployment of BRUVS in the Northern Great Barrier Reef: Australian Institute of Marine Science
This work is part of our two-year Integrated Monitoring and Reporting (IMR) Program, which is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
This is a collaborative project between AIMS, TropWATER: JCU's Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, Marine Data Tech, University of the Sunshine Coast, Traditional Owners from Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, Manbarra and Wulgurukaba, and with input from Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Queensland) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.