Marine Farming Association (MFA), NIWA, and the University of Auckland collaborated on an underwater seafloor mussel survey with the Boxfish ROV used for remote monitoring and 3D reconstruction of the research sites. The project aimed to identify methods to restore wild mussel beds in the Pelorus Sound that are also scalable and viable for use in other parts of Marlborough.
Boxfish ROV Enhances Underwater Survey Capabilities
This Boxfish remotely operated vehicle (ROV) — which delivers high quality, uncompressed 4K video — conducted a 3D reconstruction of Marine Farming Association’s current underwater plots that measured approximately 3 m2.
The Boxfish ROV deployed by NIWA scientists performed its first check on the scientific data to discover the mussel survey and the bed dynamics. In order to estimate the survival rate of the mussels, three .25m by .25m quadrants were placed into a treatment plot, and the mussels were then counted.
Next, the team wanted to understand how the mussel plots change over time. Using the Boxfish ROV, MFA was able to map the sites in two ways. First, the divers used photo quadrants to capture still images of the treatment plots and controls at each site. Second, they used the portable Boxfish ROV to capture 4K video of the treatment plots.
The video data collected by the Boxfish ROV helped create 3D models of the plots to allow the team to understand how the mussel beds change over time, and to determine the mussel density, survival rate, and predation.
Quick and Easy Underwater Deployment
The Boxfish ROV is an easy system to set up and deploy within minutes, and ensures fast deployment from shore to any vessel. During this project, the team was able to cover each site in just 30 minutes. Since using the Boxfish ROV, the Marine Farming Association team has seen tremendous results, including the ability to:
- Identify new research sites
- Assess the performance of the trial mussel beds
- Monitor species abundance and diversity within the mussel beds and surrounding area
As Boxfish continues to advance its underwater robotics, we are seeing more and more applications for ROVs rising to the surface. The Boxfish ROV is cost-effective and does not require an expensive support vessel for deployment allowing research institutions and marine scientists to conduct underwater projects and explore new opportunities that were previously beyond reach.
Learn more about how Boxfish can help you conduct your next underwater survey by contacting us today and head to SHOT ON BOXFISH section for more underwater footage.
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