Will The Fish Follow?
Twyla Frid-Lotenberg
Island Pacific School
Floor Location : J 137 V

More and more scientist are using deep water cameras to survey fish in deep water, because this allows you to get more information. There is a downfall to this though, because there is a chance that the external lights will cause the survey to be biased towards certain species. After learning about this problem I decided to focus my science fair on testing the effect of life history on a fishes reaction to a human made object. My hypothesis is that cameras with external lights and parallel laser beams are used to survey fish in deep water will be biased because certain species may be more affected by the lights than others. The laser beams are needed to scale distances, but also might attract some fish species more than others, which could bias a survey. I think that as fish are exposed to the camera and lasers, species with faster life histories (shorter lifespan) are more likely to follow the laser lights than species with slower life histories (longer lifespan) except when in larger groups, which shows the safety benefits of grouping. This hypothesis applies ideas from previous studies of animal behaviour. In the summer, I participated with the team that videoed the fish. Back at school, I analyzed video from these surveys to see if fish will “follow” or “not follow” the lasers (a binomial response variable). Through this process I determined that Kelp Greenling ad Lingcod (fast life history) have over 50% probability that a follow will acer, wall Yelloweye, China, and Canary Rockfish (slow life history) noticeably followed which does not support my hypothesis. Canary is an exception though because it only followed when in large groups. This behavior supports my hypothesis. In conclusion, camera surveys for fish in deep water may be biased towards certain species. Especially Kelp Greenling, Lingcod, Canary Rockfish, China Rockfish, Yellow Rockfish and people doing fish surveys need to be aware of the problem when doing the surveys.