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13. Habitat mapping and characterization A pilot project using a Tritech Starfish 990f sidescan sonar was undertaken to: 1) Create a library of sonar data that matches the different habitat types; 2) Understand what each habitat class looks like using sidescan; and 3) Determine how much time is needed to map a site using side scan. The pilot effort focused primarily within about 2 miles of Southwest Cay, within the proposed fishery reserve. The Twin V slowly navigated back and forth collecting backscatter data (acoustic reflections) along the track to obtain a continuous image of the seafloor. At varying distances a drop camera was deployed to correlate backscatter data with actual video imagery of the habitat. Surveys were run throughout the proposed reserve from just below the water’s surface to about 25 m depth. Additional tracks were run across habitat types not included in the reserve (sea grass beds). A total of 15 sq km of backscatter data and 96 drop camera videos were acquired (Fig. 62).

Fig. 62. Side scan sonar tracks and locations of drop camera videos completed within and outside the proposed Southwest Cay Sanctuary.

 

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Profile for Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation

Global Reef Expedition Final Report: Jamaica  

In March of 2012, scientists on the Global Reef Expedition set out to assess the community structure, health, and resilience of corals and c...

Global Reef Expedition Final Report: Jamaica  

In March of 2012, scientists on the Global Reef Expedition set out to assess the community structure, health, and resilience of corals and c...

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