In March 2009, three Te Papa staff members of the Fish Section (Vincent Zintzen, Romain Crec’hriou and Carl Struthers) have been sampling the area around White Island in the Bay of Plenty. The objectives were to study the diversity of the fish fauna along this volcanic area at depth ranging from 50 to 1500m. To realize those objectives, two techniques were used: Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS) and fish traps. A large number of deployments of both video and traps were done at each depth strata.
BRUVS have been deployed up to depth of 900m for 2-3 hours and gave great footage of the fish fauna of the area. The total image time recorded is about 200 hours. Reviewing the images at night allowed the team to be confident that the combination of camera systems and light are good enough to see and work on the fauna attracted to the bait.
Fish traps were successfully deployed at the different depths and caught at total amount of 250kg of fish.