24th January 2021
UK MPAs to Tropical Coral Reefs
Ocean Ecology remain a leading provider of seabed imagery analysis and over recent years have conducted the analysis of many thousands of still images and minutes of video collected from multiple UK MPAs, deep sea sites throughout the Norwegian and Barents Seas and tropical coral reefs in the Caribbean.
Much of this work has been undertaken in support of Cefas’ ongoing UK MCZ programme, designed to protect valuable biodiversity and complete a ‘Blue Belt’ of MPAs around the UK’s coastline.
and minutes of video collected from multiple UK MPAs, deep sea sites throughout
the Norwegian and Barents Seas and tropical coral reefs in the Caribbean.
Some of our most recent projects involved the analysis of footage collected from a series of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) including the Runnel Stone, Runswick Bay, Offshore Overfalls and Offshore Brighton MCZs. These projects were completed utilising pioneering online imagery annotation techniques as an alternative to labour intensive tabular approaches and were the first tranche of UK MCZ seabed imagery analysis projects to be analysed using the Bio-Image Indexing and Graphical Labelling Environment (BIIGLE).
BIIGLE is one of a number of emerging annotation tools that allow for increased accuracy, repeatability and improved quality assurance in the analysis of both video and stills data. Imagery is organised into projects and are made accessible to all users working on projects regardless of their location.
A key benefit of BIIGLE is the integration and collaboration it facilitates during the quality control process which allowed our team to work collaboratively across multi-users to streamline and maximise the efficacy of the quality control process undertaken by project partners, MarineSpace.
Our team have since utilised BIIGLE as part of a collaborative research study with Swansea University and Cefas aimed at improving benthic biodiversity assessments in turbid aquatic environments (read the paper here) which represents the first published study utilising the UK focused MPA morphological based label classification system developed by Cefas.