Mating Tanner crabs Credit:  CamSled

Mating Tanner crabs
Credit: CamSled

Fish Radio

March 13, 2014             

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch.  Viewing the sea floor in High Def. Learn more after this…

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 It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but for Fish and Game’s Gregg Rosenkranz and Rick Shepherd , the  millions of images from their handmade HD underwater research camera has proven to be much more than that.

 “Alaska Cam Sled is a towed imaging system that is for benthic research. Basically, it takes a   lot of high resolution pictures of the bottom of the ocean. I guess the short answer is… it’s to find out what’s down there.”

 Rosenkranz is a  statewide scallop Biologist based in Kodiak. In his many years researching weathervane scallop beds he has also witnessed many other species in their natural habitat.

 “We found out pretty quickly after we started doing this about six, seven years ago that there is a  lot of other stuff down there, for example, a lot of Tanner crabs live in the same areas as scallops do.”

 The Cam Sled lets biologists experience a live stream of the sea floor while on board the research vessel. Rosenkranz adds that it is more efficient and cost effective.

 “It’s easier and cheaper than a lot of other ways, because it is towed. You’re not sending divers down there, for example.. I like to think of it as a really stupid robot that does one job really well and that is to take high resolution photos.

 The High Def camera is a non-invasive way to observe and collect data in real time.

 It looks a lot different on the bottom, then when it comes up in the net and drop it on the sorting table. Something else I like about this you can study stuff without having to bring it up, obviously that is a big part of fisheries research is getting samples. But you do throw a lot of stuff over that is not going to be doing so well after you catch and release it.”

 See the CamSled in action next month at ComFish.   

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.