[MARMAM] New publication: A comparison between aerial photography and observer-based methods to monitor floating marine litter and marine mega-fauna (Odei Garcia-Garin)

Odei Garcia-Garin odei.garcia19 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 13 04:06:11 PST 2019


Dear MARMAM list members,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to share our recent study. The
paper is currently in press with *Environmental Pollution*:

*Who's better at spotting? A comparison between aerial photography and
observer-based methods to monitor floating marine litter and marine
mega-fauna*

*Garcia-Garin, O.; Aguilar, A.; Borrell, A.; Gozalbes, P.; Lobo, A.;
Penadés-Suay, J.; Raga, J.A.; Revuelta, O.; Serrano, M.; Vighi, M. (2019).
*Who's better at spotting? A comparison between aerial photography and
observer-based methods to monitor floating marine litter and marine
mega-fauna*. Environmental Pollution. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113680

*Abstract*:
Pollution by marine litter is raising major concerns due to its potential
impact on marine biodiversity and, above all, on endangered mega-fauna
species, such as cetaceans and sea turtles. The density and distribution of
marine litter and mega-fauna have been traditionally monitored through
observer-based methods, yet the advent of new technologies has introduced
aerial photography as an alternative monitoring method. However, to
integrate results produced by different monitoring techniques and consider
the photographic method a viable alternative, this ‘new’ methodology must
be validated. This study aims to compare observations obtained from the
concurrent application of observer-based and photographic methods during
aerial surveys. To do so, a Partenavia P-68 aircraft equipped with an RGB
sensor was used to monitor the waters off the Spanish Mediterranean coast
along 12 transects (941 km). Over 10000 images were collected and checked
manually by a photo-interpreter to detect potential targets, which were
classified as floating marine macro-litter, mega-fauna and seabirds. The
two methods allowed the detection of items from the three categories and
proved equally effective for the detection of cetaceans, sea turtles and
large fish on the sea surface. However, the photographic method was more
effective for floating litter detection and the observer-based method was
more effective for seabird detection. These results provide the first
validation of the use of aerial photography to monitor floating litter and
mega-fauna over the marine surface.

The paper can be accessed using the following link:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113680

Or send me an e-mail (odei.garcia at ub.edu) for the full text.

All the best,

Odei Garcia-Garin
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