Researchers Use BioSonics DT-X Echosounder to Show MPAs Can Increase Marine Life Abundance by 4X
A team of scientists led by long-time BioSonics user, Jack Egerton from Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences, recently published the results of a study conducted at a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Cabo Pulmo National Park (CPNP), Mexico. Using a DT-X echosounder configured with a 200 kHz split beam transducer, Jack and his team demonstrated that fish density, biomass, and physical size were all greater within the CPNP compared with areas outside the MPA. Increased marine life abundance was especially significant in reef areas within the MPA, underlining the importance of both protection from fishing and preservation of habitat areas.
Egerton and his team compared the hydroacoustic data with Underwater Visual Census (UVC) data collected via SCUBA surveys, and reef habitat areas were confirmed using a towed video camera. While there are many published studies on both the effects of MPAs as management tools and hydroacoustics for fish surveys, this may well be the first study to investigate the effects of a MPA using hydroacoustics.
Fish aggregation at Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, Marine Protected Area - Photo Courtesy of UNESCO
Map of Study Area - Image Courtesy of J. P. Egerton Et al.