Baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) to monitor fish populations constitute a critical first step in preserving and rebuilding the Mediterranean’s unique and rich marine biodiversity.
Linking Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the Mediterranean Sea and fisheries have been economically and socially important since ancient times. Its waters behold a unique biodiversity comprising important populations of several marine species including tuna, sharks as well as endemic and critically endangered species such as the Mediterranean monk seal.
Yet marine protected areas across the region are few, and some continue to allow forms of fishing within them, highlighting the need for enhanced conservation policies to strengthen marine resilience in the face of climate change. This requires a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Mediterranean’s rich aquatic life.
The Blue Abacus baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) is a pioneering technology used to film, count and analyse populations of fish and other marine species in Monaco’s waters, both inside and outside marine parks. The valuable information harvested by BRUVS will underpin ongoing marine wildlife management and is an important first step in rebuilding Mediterranean fish populations.
Launched in January 2023, by a consortium comprising the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Community Jameel, the Monégasque Association for the Protection of Nature and Blue Abacus, the technology company of Professor Jessica Meeuwig, a pioneer marine scientist based at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia, the project marks one of the first times this technology has been used in the Mediterranean Sea.
By conducting two surveys over the span of one year, the project will generate robust data to inform Monaco’s efforts to conserve marine wildlife and curb the environmental impact of dwindling marine biodiversity.