TSC Visual Survey Methods Workshop (April 8-9, 2014)


At the May 2011 annual meeting, the Technical Subcommittee of the Canada-U.S. Groundfish Committee (TSC) proposed a visual survey methods workshop for groundfish stocks. Visual surveys are nonlethal and fishery independent, and technological advances have allowed these survey tools to be increasingly accessible and affordable. As a result, visual surveys are becoming more common along the West coast for management and research, and similar obstacles are faced by users when designing surveys and analyzing resulting data, especially in the context of fisheries management. At the May 2012 TSC meeting, Kristen Green (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), Dayv Lowry (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife), and Lynne Yamanaka (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) formed a committee to develop a workshop to address the need for communication about current and future visual survey techniques among management agencies. The workshop dates were set for April 8 and 9, 2014 at the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) in Seattle, Washington at the Sand Point Facility. A call for interest was sent out in August 2013 to management agencies and university staff that conduct visual surveys along the West coast; in addition, a pre-planning meeting was held at the February 2014 Western Groundfish Conference.

Workshop Goals

The visual survey methods workshop was directed at those who conduct groundfish resource surveys, using visual survey techniques (submersible, remote operated vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, camera sleds, drop cameras etc.), to assess groundfish stocks. The intent of the workshop was to bring together agencies and universities to share knowledge regarding groundfish visual surveys, discuss potential solutions to common issues, provide an opportunity for networking and promote future collaborations. Workshop participants were polled in advance to determine topics for discussion which included: Based on the input from potential participants, an agenda was set for a two-day workshop including topics on survey design, stock assessment and management, video review and analyses, and vehicle and vessel technology. Prior to the workshop, the workshop co-chairs (Kristen Green, Dayv Lowry, and Lynne Yamanaka) created a sixty question web-based survey for the purpose of polling participants about their visual survey goals and design, and the types of technology or survey equipment used. In addition, participants were requested to submit a two page “project profile” to describe their organization’s visual survey for distribution to all the workshop attendees.
  1. Project Profiles of Workshop Participants
  2. Proceedings of the: Visual Survey Methods Workshop (April 8 & 9, 2014)