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ESR 37:37-44 (2018)  -  DOI:

Individual identification of flapper skate Dipturus intermedius using a baited camera lander

S. Benjamins1,*, C. J. Fox1, K. Last1, C. E. McCarty1,2

1Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunstaffnage, Oban PA37 1QA, UK
2University of St Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9AJ, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The ability of baited remote underwater video (BRUV) landers to attract and identify individual flapper skates Dipturus intermedius based on their spot patterns was tested within the Loch Sunart to Sound of Jura Marine Protected Area (MPA). Two BRUV lander designs, baited with a mix of mackerel, herring, squid and octopus, were deployed in 9 different locations at depths between 105 and 133 m for approx. 2 h per deployment. The BRUV successfully obtained video footage and still images of flapper skates during 4 deployments. On 6 occasions, skates remained at the bait long enough for us to obtain high-quality video of their dorsal spot patterns. Five individuals, one of which was observed at 2 adjacent landers in quick succession, were all uniquely distinguishable; one female was matched to existing records in a photo-identification catalogue based on images collected by recreational sea anglers within the MPA. BRUVs offer significant potential for studying individual presence, distribution patterns and abundance of flapper skates, independent of fishing/angling efforts. BRUV landers can therefore support monitoring efforts for evaluating long-term conservation management measures for this species.

KEY WORDS: Baited remote underwater video · BRUV · Dipturus intermedius · Flapper skate · Management · MPA · Marine protected area · Photo-ID

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Cite this article as: Benjamins S, Fox CJ, Last K, McCarty CE (2018) Individual identification of flapper skate Dipturus intermedius using a baited camera lander. Endang Species Res 37:37-44.

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