Scientists tend to rely on catch data from commercial fishing to estimate fish stocks, so how can we monitor species numbers in reserves when the fishing fleets are gone?
The answer might lie in the non-destructive techniques trialled on the first open water research expedition to the Chagos.
Professor Jessica Meeuwig led the expedition. Her report on the team's research outcomes describes successful high tech acoustic surveys, humane shark tagging and the first ever long-line deployment of SISSTAs (Stereo Imagery System for Shark and Tuna Analysis). All this despite losing a third of the research time due to Cyclone Claudia.
Photo: Video frame of a curious green turtle from underwater video system (c) ZSL/University of Western Australia