Oct 17 2012

DFG and Partners use Aircraft and Submersible Camera to Count Pacific Sardine

Department of Fish and Game (DFG) pilots and biologists, along with partners, used new technological tools above and below the water to study the sardine fishery.

DFG, in partnership with the California Wetfish Producers Association, flew over Southern California waters in DFG’s Partenavia P68 Observer aircraft to complete surveys for Pacific sardine in coastal waters. Also for the first time, DFG confirmed the aerial identification of the fish from a vessel positioned on the schools, using a submersible video camera. During the August surveys, DFG biologists photographed schools of sardine to capture distribution and abundance.

“These surveys will help DFG to manage this sustainable fishery and add to our limited understanding of sardine distribution throughout the Southern California Bight,” said Michelle Horeczko, Senior Environmental Scientist on the Coastal Pelagic Species Project. “Data from these surveys may also be used by West Coast scientists as part of a new effort to look at the full range of sardine data from Canada to Mexico.”

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