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EAF-Nansen Programme

Visual Seafloor Mapping of the Cabo Delgado, Mozambique


In August 2018, a post-survey meeting after the Dr. Fridtjof Nansen cruise 1.3 in 2018 was held in Maputo. At this meeting several research projects were identified to be carried out and the projects "Visual Seafloor Mapping of the Cabo Delgado, Mozambique" was one of them. The projects main goal is to identify and characterize sensitive habitat and hotspot of biodiversity in the area and predict their distribution.

The project involves two workshops that covers training in video analysis, and strategy for statistical analysis for habitat identification. Video analysis will be conducted between the two workshops. The main objectives of the first workshop was to: design the strategy for the detailed analysis of videos; training of participants on analysis of video; and plan for the project main deliveries which include a book and scientific publications.

A total of 11 participants attended the first workshop (including teachers) that took place on 4-8 March in Maputo. Eight students and scientists were trained in video annotation using the software "Video Navigator" including quantification of sediment cover, and identification and quantification of taxa seen on the seafloor. All participant was offered installation of the program together with photo for taxa identification, and taxonomical literature. At the workshop a common list on sediment characteristics, a taxa list to be extended, and human impact categories, was created for incorporation in the analysis.

Before July 2019 the analysis of around 40 videos will be finished and workshop 2 that focus on statistical analysis is planned for August. At present, around 70 taxa have been identified, > 400 photos showing different taxa has been sampled from the videos, and a photo archive for video taxa has been generated. During the workshop students and scientists was divided into groups that will quantify specific taxonomic groups (fish, crustacean, molluscs etc.) when analysing the videos. Already several records of species new to Mozambique has been listed including the deep-sea fishes Squalogadus modificatus and kelp at 150 meter off Lazarus bank.

Students and scientists at the workshop analysing videos and identifying observed fauna. Lene Buhl-Mortensen and Yngve
Klungseth Johansen from Institute of Marine Research in Bergen was teaching (far end of left photo). Other participants
were mainly from IIP including the coordinator Paula Santana Afonso (right photo left end of table). © FAO