How dropping the BRUV helps us to create the first shark sanctuary in Indonesia

Because of the nature of shark research in the wild, new techniques had to be invented to answer our questions about the lives of sharks. One of these techniques is the Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV). This shark study method has been used in numerous studies around the world and has been shown very successful.

Collecting data world wide
The BRUV project is part of a collection of researchers from Florida International University (FIU) to estimate and compare the relative abundance of predator fish species, including sharks and rays, inside and outside marine protected areas (MPAs).

Working together to make the difference
When we drop a BRUV we need to know where and when we dropped it for the data to be relevant to our project. This is where the Gili Shark Conservation participants come in, without them we as a team wouldn’t be able to collect all the data we do. Preparing the BRUV drop on the boat is just as important as the inwater side, more so even because without it the data collected from the camera cannot be used without the data collected on the boat.

We love science
For keeping track of our drops the most important information is the GPS coordinates. These allow the team to map exactly where the BRUV’s have been dropped and inform where we can drop ones in the future to ensure we cover as much of the area around the Gili islands to help our case for the shark sanctuary of Gili.

Once we have the GPS from the BRUV site the team then inputs this, and all the other abiotic data, into our database and using the statistical programme ‘R’ create an up to date map of every successful drop so far. 

The first official shark nursery in Indonesia
By knowing where we drop the BRUV and watching the videos that come along with it we can get a better understanding which areas we need to protect. Our goal is to proof through abundance data that the reefs surrounding the Gili Islands in Indonesia are a shark nursery area. With the data we collect we want to convince the government to create the first official shark nursery in Indonesia. And by protecting nursery areas for example, we can ensure the best possible start for the white tip pups.