Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The development of robust morphometric indices from accurate and precise measurements of free-swimming whale sharks using laser photogrammetry

  • G.L. Jeffreys (a1) (a2), D. Rowat (a2), H. Marshall (a1) and K. Brooks (a2) (a3)
Abstract

To enable the study of population dynamics of wild animals the determination of the age, growth rate and maturity status of a sample of the individuals present is required; consequently, obtaining repeated accurate and precise total length (TL) measurements for individuals over time can be especially valuable. However, there are limited easily applied methods to ascertain the TL of large free-swimming fish, especially the largest extant species of fish, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus). This study expands on previous work and presents the results of a robust laser photogrammetry system developed to achieve accurate TL, pre-caudal length (PCL) and further morphometric measurements of whale sharks observed between 2009 and 2011 in seasonal feeding aggregations located in the Seychelles and Djibouti. Calculations for repeatability (r) indicated a high level of precision for the system with r approaching 1 for both TL and PCL, increasing further with the use of morphometric measurements. TL measurements of ‘straight sample sharks’ also provided geometric mean linear regression equations to enable the prediction of TL from defined morphological indices. Continuous validation of the system against objects of a fixed length also indicated a high level of accuracy for the method of measurement. We concluded that the laser photogrammetry system can be confidently employed to obtain accurate in-water TL, PCL and morphometric measurements for R. typus, with wide ranging implications and applications for the study of R. typus, and other large marine fauna.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Corresponence should be addressed to: G.L. Jeffreys, Aberystwyth University, Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DA, UK email: glj14@aber.ac.uk
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Z. Arzoumanian , J. Holmberg and B. Norman (2005) An astronomical pattern-matching algorithm for computer-aided identification of whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Journal of Applied Ecology 42, 9991011.

P. Bergeron (2007) Parallel lasers for remote measurements of morphological traits. Journal of Wildlife Management 71, 289292.

C.J.A. Bradshaw (2007) Swimming in the deep end of the gene pool—global population structure of an oceanic giant. Molecular Ecology 16, 51115113.

C.J.A. Bradshaw , B.M. Fitzpatrick , C.C. Steinberge , B.B. Brook and M.G. Meekan (2008) Decline in whale shark size and abundance at Ningaloo Reef over the past decade: the world's largest fish is getting smaller. Biological Conservation 141, 18941905.

C.J.A. Bradshaw , H.F. Mollet and M.G. Meekan (2007) Inferring population trends for the world's largest fish from mark–recapture estimates of survival. Journal of Animal Ecology 76, 480489.

T. Breuer , M.M. Robbins and C. Boesch (2006) Using photogrammetry and color scoring to assess sexual dimorphism in wild western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 134, 369382.

G.M. Cailliet , W.D. Smith , H.F. Mollet and K.J. Goldman (2006) Age and growth studies of chondrichthyan fishes: the need for consistency in terminology, verification, validation, and growth function fitting. Environmental Biology of Fishes 77, 211228.

A.L.F. Castro , B.S. Stewart , S.G. Wilson , R.E. Hueter , M.G. Meekan , P.J. Motta , B.W. Bowen and S.A. Karl (2007) Population genetic structure of Earth's largest fish, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus). Molecular Ecology 16, 51835192.

C. Costa , A. Loy , S. Cataudella , D. Davis and M. Sardi (2006) Extracting fish size using dual underwater cameras. Aquacultural Engineering 35, 218227.

M.H. Deakos (2010) Paired-laser photogrammetry as a simple and accurate system for measuring the body size of free-ranging manta rays Manta alfredi. Aquatic Biology 10, 110.

J.W. Durban and K.M. Parsons (2006) Laser-metrics of free-ranging killer whales. Marine Mammal Science 22, 735743.

A.C. Gleiss , B. Norman and R.P. Wilson (2011) Moved by that sinking feeling: variable diving geometry underlies movement strategies in whale sharks. Functional Ecology 25, 595607.

R. Graham and C.M. Roberts (2007) Assessing the size, growth rate and structure of a seasonal population of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus Smith 1828) using conventional tagging and photo identification. Fisheries Research 84, 7180.

N.G. Hall , K.D. Smith , S. de Lestang and I.C. Potter (2006) Does the largest chela of the males of three crab species undergo an allometric change that can be used to determine morphometric maturity? ICES Journal of Marine Science 63, 140150.

E. Harvey , M. Cappo , M. Shortis , S. Robson , J. Buchanan and P. Speare (2003) The accuracy and precision of underwater measurements of length and maximum body depth of southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) with a stereo-video camera system. Fisheries Research 63, 315326.

J. Holmberg , B. Norman and Z. Arzoumanian (2009) Estimating population size, structure, and residency time for whale sharks Rhincodon typus through collaborative photo-identification. Endangered Species Research 7, 3953.

S. Katsanevakis , M. Thessalou-Legaki , C. Karlou-Riga , E. Lefkaditou , E. Dimitriou and G. Verriopoulos (2007) Information-theory approach to allometric growth of marine organisms. Marine Biology 151, 949959.

E.A. Laws and J.W. Archic (1981) Appropriate use of regression analysis in marine biology. Marine Biology 65, 1316.

C.M. Lessels and P.T. Boag (1987) Unrepeatable repeatabilities: a common mistake. Auk 104, 116121.

R.A. Martin (2007) A review of behavioural ecology of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus). Fisheries Research 84, 1016.

B.H. McArdle (1988) The structural relationship: regression in biology. Canadian Jourrnal of Zoology 66, 23292339.

B.H. McArdle (2003) Lines, models, and errors: regression in the field. Limnology and Oceanography 48, 13631366.

M.G. Meekan , C.J.A. Bradshaw , M. Press , C. McLean , A. Richards , S. Quasnichka and J.A. Taylor (2006) Population size and structure of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 319, 275285.

H.F. Mollet and G.M. Cailliet (1996) Using allometry to predict body mass from linear measurements of the white shark. In A.P. Klimley and D.G. Ainley (eds) Great white sharks, the biology of Carcharodon carcharias. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, Inc, pp. 8189.

B. Norman and J.D. Stevens (2007) Size and maturity status of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. Fisheries Research 84, 8186.

M.J. Riley , M.S. Hale , A. Harman and R.G. Rees (2010) Analysis of whale shark Rhincodon typus aggregations near South Ari Atoll, Maldives Archipelago. Aquatic Biology 8, 145150.

C.A. Rohner , A.J. Richardson , A.D. Marshall , S.J. Weeks and S.J. Pierce (2011) How large is the world's largest fish? Measuring whale sharks Rhincodon typus with laser photogrammetry. Journal of Fish Biology 78, 378385.

J.M. Rothman , C.A. Chapman , D. Twinomugisha , M.D. Wasserman , J.E. Lambert and T.L. Goldberg (2008) Measuring physical traits of primates remotely; the use of parallel lasers. American Journal of Primatology 70, 15.

D. Rowat and M. Gore (2007) Regional scale horizontal and local scale vertical movements of whale sharks in the Indian Ocean off Seychelles. Fisheries Research 84, 3240.

L.E. Rowe and S.M. Dawson (2009) Determining the sex of bottlenose dolphins from Doubtful Sound using dorsal fin photographs. Marine Mammal Science 25, 1934.

J.V. Schmidt , L.V. Schmidt , F. Ozer , R.E. Ernst , K.A. Feldheim , M.V. Ashley and M. Levine (2009) Low genetic differentiation across three major ocean populations of the whale shark, Rhincodon typus. PLoS One 4, e4988.

J.C. Sleeman , M.G. Meekan , B.S. Stewart , S.G. Wilson , J.D. Polovina , J.D. Stevens , G.S. Boggs and C.J.A. Bradshaw (2010) To go or not to go with the flow: environmental influences on whale shark movement patterns. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 390, 8498

R.J. Smith (2009) Use and misuse of the reduced major axis for line-fitting. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 140, 476486.

C.W. Speed , M.G. Meekan and C.J.A. Bradshaw (2007) Spot the match—wildlife photo-identification using information theory. Frontiers in Zoology 4, 111.

J.D. Stevens (2007) Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) biology and ecology: a review of the primary literature. Fisheries Research 84, 49.

R.E. Strauss and L.A. Fuiman (1985) Quantitative comparisons of body form and allometry in larval and adult Pacific sculpins (Teleostei: Cottidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 63, 15821589.

A.M. Van Tienhoven , J.E. Den Hartog , R. Reijns and V.M. Peddemors (2007) A computer-aided program for pattern-matching of natural marks of the spotted ragged-tooth shark Carcharias taurus (Rafinesque, 1810). Journal of Applied Ecology 44, 273280.

T. Webster , S. Dawson and E. Slooten (2010) A simple laser photogrammetry technique for measuring Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) in the field. Marine Mammal Science 26, 296308.

S.P. Wintner (2000) Preliminary study of vertebral growth rings in the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, from the east coast of South Africa. Environmental Biology of Fishes 59, 441451.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Figure 8

 Unknown (810 KB)
810 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Figure 9

 Unknown (715 KB)
715 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Figure 4

 Unknown (498 KB)
498 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Figure 6

 Unknown (286 KB)
286 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Figure 5

 Unknown (302 KB)
302 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Figure 2

 Unknown (983 KB)
983 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Figure 3

 Unknown (1.1 MB)
1.1 MB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Figure 7

 Unknown (828 KB)
828 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material

 Word (54 KB)
54 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Figure 10

 Unknown (576 KB)
576 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jeffreys Supplementary Material
Figure 1

 Unknown (656 KB)
656 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 16 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 155 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.