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January 3rd, 2010, 08:34 PM
Anyone know of (or have and would share:D) any papers comparing open circuit vs closed circuit diving for fish counts? Any informal personal observations?

I'm wondering if comparing data from one method would be valid when compared to the other.

I found this: Does breathing apparatus affect Fish counts and observations?
A comparison at three New Zealand fished and protected areas, RG Cole, et al, Mar Biol (2007) 150:1379–1395

They found no significant difference between methods, but I'm stumped on additional sources.



January 4th, 2010, 04:31 PM
Yo Chris,

I would expect many variables hard to take into account.

An OC study at Fish Rock or Ulua would have different historical training of the residents than same study at Mokuho’oniki and still further differences should be seen in the deep reef past the St. Anthony where other than me it has probably only been collectors and hunters. But to a certain extent the big ugly split tail is still a big ugly split tail! :)

Just call me the X factor!


January 5th, 2010, 03:12 PM
Check in with Reef Environmental Education Foundation aka REEF. They have a huge collection of data for fish counts and all the data from counts is public access. I believe the counts include a gear definition of equipment used by the diver.

January 6th, 2010, 04:53 PM
Chapman CJ, Atkinson RJA. 1986. Fish behaviour in relation to divers. Progressive Underwater Science 11: 1-14.

Chapman CJ, Johnstone ADF, Dunn JR, Creasey DJ. 1974. Reactions of fish to sound generated by divers' open-circuit underwater breathing apparatus. Mar. Biol. 27:357-366.

Dixon MS. The Use of SCUBA and Punctuated Transects to Count a Temperate Reef Fish. In: EJ Maney, Jr and CH Ellis, Jr (Eds.) The Diving for Science…1997, Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), Seventeenth annual Scientific Diving Symposium, Northeastern University, Boston, MA RRR ID: 4638 (

Parrish FA, Pyle RL. 2002. Field comparison of open-circuit scuba to closed-circuit rebreathers for deep mixed-gas diving operations. Mar. Tech. Soc. J. 36:13-22.

Radford CA, Jeffs AG, Tindle CT, Cole RG, Montgomery JC. December 2005 Bubbled waters: The noise generated by underwater breathing apparatus. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 38(4): 259-267 (download here (

March 6th, 2010, 04:52 AM
I read this topic a few days ago then went to a lecture by a guy who did this very comparison on Catalina Island with some other researchers. The article is not yet published and still getting reviewed, but his conclusions were that there were very significant differences in the counts. It will be Smith et al 2010 if it ever comes out. Don't know the journal yet.

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