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Underwater Video Of Rocky Reef Near Newport

underwater video landerInner space lander captures amazing fish footage off the Oregon Coast.

Observing underwater marine life in its natural habitat is becoming easier, and one big step forward is Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's new video lander—a low light, high definition video lander designed for deep, rugged environments. It consists of an aluminum frame with breakaway connections; a color video camera; lights; a housing containing batteries and a camcorder; a steel weight and a breakaway base. Other "underwater observatories" will be featured on this SEA-Media web site in the near future.

“We need to know a lot more than we do about rocky reef populations to properly manage them,” said ODFW researcher Bob Hannah. “We have a lot of fish populations that need assessment—particularly the reef-dwelling rockfish species.” The lander is easily and simply deployed from a modest-sized boat. “It’s much like setting a crab pot,” said Hannah. “If it gets stuck on its journey to the bottom and back, the unit is designed to protect the camera equipment—the base will break away so it can still be retrieved.”

In this video clip, the lander is deployed, followed by a bait bag of chopped herring to attract fish. Species shown include several rockfish, kelp greenling and Pacific halibut. For more details see the ODFW July/August 2012 newsletter.

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