CRED Fish Biomass Estimates at Tutuila Island, 2002

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What does this data set describe?

Title: CRED Fish Biomass Estimates at Tutuila Island, 2002
Fish biomass data were collected using a Towed Optical Assessment Device (TOAD), an underwater sled equipped with an underwater digital video camera and lights. Data were collected at American Samoa, Tutuila Island to support Benthic Habitat Mapping efforts.
Tutuila is the largest of seven islands in American Samoa at 142.3 sq. km. Volcanic in origin, it reaches a height of 653m at Matafao Peak. Tutuila is centered at 14.30 degrees N, 169.75 degrees W, has 101.3 km of coastline and an estimated 36.2 sq. km of reef area. The port of Pago Pago is a collapsed crater and is one of the largest natural ports in the Pacific. Pago Pago contains a tuna cannery which is a hub of a large purse-seining tuna fishing fleet. The cannery outputs large amounts of nutrients as byproduct into the waters of Pago Pago harbor. The human population of Tutuila in 1990 was 45,043. It is considered a high island and contributes significant nutrient and sediment runoff to coastal waters. Tutuila's waters are protected by the 0.7 sq. km Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, as well as by the National Park of American Samoa, which covers the north-central part of the island and approximately 5 sq. km of coastline.

Mobile fauna data were collected using the Tethered Optical Assessment Device (TOAD), a sled equipped with underwater video camera, still camera, and lights. These data are used to provide fish count and biomass maps where benthic habitat classification has been completed. Camera sled deployments were conducted at night, usually between 1800 and midnight. The TOAD was deployed from a pot hauler mounted on the starboard side of the fantail on NOAA Ship Townsend Cromwell. It was lowered slowly to the bottom by the deck crew with the use of a capstan. The TOAD operator monitored a live video feed from the camera and began recording data on two video tape recorders. When the camera reached bottom the deck crew was notified by radio to stop lowering. The TOAD was a MiniBat 8820 unit manufactured by Guideline, and was towed by the ship at 1-2 knots while remotely guided from the ship using adjustable wing controls to keep the unit close to the underwater substrate. The TOAD was damaged during the cruise on 02/20/02, and subsequent tows were conducted as drift deployments. At each station the ship was positioned with the wind on the starboard side and drifted downwind; occasional light turns were applied to the ship's screws if necessary to reduce the ship's motion. The operator continued to monitor the vehicle and provided commands to raise or lower it to keep the camera just above the bottom.

Equipment Description: The TOAD is a camera sled based on the Guildline MiniBat model 8820 tow body. The frame was configured with a single Sony DCR-PC110 Digital Video Camera in a modified Gates underwater housing, a Canon Power Shot G1 Still Camera (modified by CRED engineers) in an Ikelite housing rated to 60 m slaved to an Ikelite DS-50 strobe, and two 500 W DeepSea Power & Light model 710-0400601 underwater lights. The Canon camera had a custom-built timer that enabled the user to select a constant time interval (ranging from approximately 5 seconds to 2 minutes) between photographs. An interval of 30 seconds was typically selected, which, assuming a mean velocity for the camera sled of 1.5 knots, resulted in one photograph approximately every 20 m. Photograph resolution is 2048 x 1536 pixels and file names are assigned sequentially and automatically by the camera, starting at 100-0000 after the camera's memory is cleared. The MiniBAT pressure sensor and wing controller were also mounted on the frame but the pressure sensor was not operational, after damage to the TOAD on 02/20/02. And the sled's wings were not installed thereafter. The cable between the sled and the surface was an underwater load-bearing electrical cable. The TOAD computers were located in the Electronics Lab of the Townsend Cromwell. The electronics box containing the power switches was secured to the ship's fantail, and all other TOAD surface components were secured in the ship's wet lab.

Name & address of person collecting data: Joyce Miller & Ron Hoeke NOAA IRC NMFS/PIFSC/CRED 1845 WASP Blvd., Building 176 Honolulu, HI 96818

Data Files: Video data were recorded on two video tape recorders. The position of the camera sled was recorded using Guildline MiniBat In-Tow data acquisition software.

File naming convention: Each tow is given a name consisting of a 3-letter designator for the island area followed by a two-digit year and three-digit tow number, which increments by one for each new tow around that island. During TC0201 (NOAA Ship Townsend Cromwell's first cruise in calendar year 2002) the consecutive numbers started at TUT02001. For following cruises, the tow numbers will increment by 100, so the first tow on the next cruise will be tow number 100. Video tape labels, the navigation (.glo and .shp) files, and paper log forms are annotated with the tow name and number, e.g., TUT02001. If the navigation file is edited during processing the file name has a suffix `a' added. For example, one of the navigation data files is named `TUT02001a.glo'. Metadata were extracted from the navigation data and recorded to a file with the same name as the navigation file except that a file type of `.met' was appended; for example, `TUT02001a.glo.met'.

Time Correlation: All times are based on UTC. Two clocks were set manually synchronized prior to starting data collection; the clock in the video character generator that was used to annotate the video tape and the TOAD data acquisition computer clock was used to annotate the navigation (*.glo) files. These clocks were set to UTC at the beginning of each evening's operations and then compared to one another prior to (and during) each tow. There were problems maintaining synchronization of the TOAD computer clock during this cruise. See the problems section for a description.

Resource Description: Digital video images geo-referenced to navigation files

  1. How should this data set be cited?

    Pacific Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping Center (PIBHMC), Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 20090930, CRED Fish Biomass Estimates at Tutuila Island, 2002.

    Online Links:

    Format: Video imagery, track line navigation files, and log sheets

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -170.92
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -170.49
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: -14.20
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: -14.38

  3. What does it look like?

    <> (JPEG)
    Tutuila, American Samoa: TOAD Tows and Multibeam Bathymetry

  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?

    Beginning_Date: 10-Feb-2002
    Ending_Date: 04-Mar-2002
    Currentness_Reference: ground condition

  5. What is the general form of this data set?

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?

    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 0.0001. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.0001. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees.

      The horizontal datum used is D_WGS_1984.
      The ellipsoid used is WGS_1984.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.000000.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257224.

      Depth_Datum_Name: No correction
      Depth_Resolution: 0.1
      Depth_Distance_Units: meters
      Depth_Encoding_Method: Attribute values

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

    Benthic Habitat Mapping Group, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?

    Pacific Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping Center (PIBHMC), Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    Attn: John Rooney
    Honolulu, HI 96818

    808 725-5360 (voice)
    808 725-5429 (FAX)

    Contact_Instructions: e-mail preferred

Why was the data set created?

These data will provide optical observations that will be correlated with bathymetry and acoustic backscatter imagery to create a fish biomass map of Tutuila Island. Refer to supplemental information for description of instrument and survey.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?

    Date: Aug-2009 (process 1 of 1)
    After a tow was completed the video tape data was reviewed by spot checking the master and backup tape to verify that data were recorded. Navigation data were copied from the acquisition computer to the data archive. A metadata extractor (, version 3/06) was run to summarize the navigation data and test for errors. If errors were detected they were corrected or flagged as appropriate and a new data file was made. This file's header was updated to document what type of processing occurred. A metadata file was recorded in the data archive in the same location as the navigation data. Processed navigation data were then read into ArcView 3.2 shapefiles using an ArcView Avenue script named TOAD.Import.Playback, version 9/25/01, written by Ronald Hoeke. TOAD video were classified for benthic habitat type to create Optical Validation maps to interpret acoustically derived data layers. These classified points were imported into a Microsoft Access 2003 database. All fish present during 15 second intervals before and after these positions were recorded and identified. Using LW coefficients derived from and size estimates from video, total biomass was calculated for a given point. An area of 0.0012 hectares per point observation was assumed based on average distances traveled between points as well as average width of field of view. A table with position, island, biomass(tonnes/hectare), and number of fish was exported from MS Access into ArcGis v9.3. This file was exported as a shapefile. A column with biomass data was symbolized using layer file MF_Biomass.lyr to create Fish Biomass Estimates map.

  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

    The horizontal position accuracy for the camera sled position is 100 meters. There are three primary sources of this error. The ship's positioning is based on GPS SPS, often called standalone or non-differential GPS positioning. SPS has a measured accuracy of under 5 meters. The position of the GPS antenna is used; no attempt is made to translocate this position to that of the tow block from which the camera is deployed. The difference between the tow block and the antenna is about 14 meters. The camera sled position is based on a layback calculation that use ship's course, the amount of cable out and the camera sled depth to develop an estimate of the camera sled position. The amount of cable deployed is manually entered by the operator during a given camera tow.

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?


  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?


How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

Access_Constraints: None
Please acknowledge the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center as the source of this information.

  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)

    Pacific Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping Center (PIBHMC), Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    Attn: John Rooney
    Honolulu, HI 96818

    808 725-5360 (voice)
    808 725-5429 (FAX)

    Contact_Instructions: e-mail preferred
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Downloadable Data

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    These data are not to be used for navigational purposes. NOAA makes no warranty regarding these data, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data, nor as a result of the failure of these data to function on a particular system.

  4. How can I download or order the data?

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 24-Jan-2017
Last Reviewed: 02-Dec-2009
Metadata author:
Pacific Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping Center (PIBHMC), Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Honolulu, HI 96818

808 725-5360 (voice)
808 725-5429 (FAX)

Contact_Instructions: e-mail preferred
Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

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