A comparison of underwater 360° video monitoring and diver-based visual census using Reef Check methods in the Red Sea, Egypt. A pilot study

Ninja Marleen Müller
room 1
Session 2, August 26, 11:00-12:30

Video imagery collection for a permanent and reviewable record is used more frequently for marine monitoring. In the pilot study at hand, the time efficiency and the assemblage of reef structures in the Red Sea around Dahab, Egypt, were compared between 360° Video Monitoring (360VM) and Diver-based Visual Census (DVC) method following the Reef Check Protocol.

The following aspects of underwater monitoring with Insta360 One X were tested and improved over the course of five test-dives: tilt of 360 camera; camera movement over the transect; capture of full width of the transect; vertical distance of the camera to the transect and the seafloor. 

The video files were analysed using Insta360 Studio 2019. The time needed for 360VM and DVC was measured for data collection and data analysis. The DVC method needed significantly more time than 360VM in all surveys.

Abundance, species richness and Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index differed significantly between methods for fish and invertebrate surveys. The substrate data did not show significant differences between methods. Factors such as agility, colours, size, behaviour and shape of organisms strongly affected their detectability in the 360° video analysis.