Faced with rapid biodiversity loss, marine researchers and practitioners constrained by both diminishing budgets and rising pressures to build accountability must now more than ever design monitoring programmes that are not only robust but also cost-effective. A vast array of modern tools are available for surveying ocean habitats and wildlife (incl. marine mammals), however choosing among them can be difficult as most differ widely in costs, accessibility, capabilities, mobilisation constraints, resolution or sensitivity, and are evolving rapidly without always being critically evaluated or compared.
In response to this, scientists from the Australian Government's National Environmental Science Programme (NESP)'s Marine Biodiversity Hub are undertaking a detailed comparative assessment of field approaches to marine monitoring. Key to achieving this objective is a fundamental understanding of the current patterns of use, perceptions, and awareness of various sampling gears.
We would like to cordially invite you to take part in a short online questionnaire relating to your experience and familiarity with a variety of pelagic platforms (e.g. aerial/vessel surveys, underwater videography, animal-borne tags, environmental DNA, drones, etc. amongst many more). This work is part of ongoing efforts to develop standard operating procedures for the collection of consistent, comparable, interpretable and fit-for-purpose empirical evidence useful in assessing status and trends in ocean ecosystems.
More information on the project can be found here.
The survey is completely anonymous, and will take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. Only aggregated responses will be used in analyses and reports.
Our aim is to get a broad cross-section of the scientific community, so please feel free to also disseminate this link through your own professional networks.
Any questions or concerns can be directed to phil.bouchet [at] uwa.edu.au