Juvenile gadoids habitat association and ontogenetic shift observations using stereo-video baited cameras

Sophie A. M. Elliott, William R. Turrell, Michael R. Heath, David M. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding habitat variables affecting species distribution and survival is essential to their protection. This is especially important in areas where anthropogenic pressures can have a significant direct impact on not only the survival of the species but also damage their habitat. The Firth of Clyde, southwestern Scotland, was an important commercial fishing area for a variety demersal fish species up until 1973. However, stocks have since declined to near-zero despite fisheries measures put in place to aid recovery. Here we report on Stereo Baited Remote Underwater Video (SBRUV) surveys in the Firth of Clyde between June and September in 2013 and 2014 to determine the habitat of juvenile Atlantic cod Gadus morhua, haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus, and whiting Merlangius merlangus. Habitat predictor variables explored included substratum type, depth, wave fetch, and bentho-demersal species diversity. G. morhua were most abundant in shallow, sheltered areas composed of gravel-pebble containing maerl. Ontogenetic shifts and density dependence were also observed. M. aeglefinus, and M. merlangus predominated over deeper sand and mud. Relative abundances of all three species were positively related to bentho-demersal diversity. This work demonstrates the potential of SBRUV as a non-destructive survey tool under northern-temperate conditions. Our results indicate that spatial conservation measures to benefit demersal fish should be advised by patterns of bentho-demersal diversity as well as physical substratum types.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-135
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2017


  • habitat association
  • density dependence
  • fisheries
  • Firth of Clyde
  • nursery
  • ontogenetic shift
  • Gadoid
  • diversity
  • Atlantic cod Gadus morhua
  • stereo-video cameras

Research Output

  • 12 Citations
  • 4 Article

Survival of the fittest: explanations for gadoid imbalance in heavily fish seas

Elliott, S. A. M., Allan, B. A., Turrell, W. R., Heath, M. R. & Bailey, D. M., 11 Jun 2018, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems . 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
2 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Landscape effects on demersal fish revealed by field observations and predictive seabed modelling

Elliott, S. A. M., Sabatino, A. D., Heath, M. R., Turrell, W. R. & Bailey, D. M., 11 Dec 2017, In : PLoS One. 12, 12, 13 p., e0189011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
6 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)

An assessment of juvenile Atlantic cod distribution and growth using diver operated stereo-video surveys

Elliott, S. A. M., Ahti, P. A., Heath, M. R., Turrell, W. R. & Bailey, D. M., 25 May 2016, In : Journal of Fish Biology. 41 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
4 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)

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