condensed discuss document expanded export feedback print share remove reset document_white enquire_white export_white report_white


Octopus vs fish caught on underwater cameras

discuss document export feedback print share

Octopus vs fish caught on underwater cameras

By Vaughn Filmer
Tuesday, 1st August 2017

We have come across some unexpected treasure while looking through the footage captured by the baited remote underwater videos or BRUVs.
On Saturday I joined Adam Smith and Clinton Duffy from Massey University as they deployed six BRUVs at a range of depths between 15 and 35 metres, about 100m from the sheer cliffs of Walpole Island.

A view of Walpole Island from the South

A view of Walpole Island from the South

Richard Robinson

As mentioned in our previous post the BRUVs are contributing information to a global research project looking at reef ecosystems by tracking what lives there.
Adam is looking at what reef fishes live where, with a particular focus on sharks.
There are two cameras in each BRUV set-up (to allow the scientists to calculate distances and fish size) and that means we ended up with around 24 hours worth of footage.
But we have been rewarded for working through the footage with this:

We spotted an – as yet unidentified – large octopus approaching the bait, wrapping itself around and moving the cage and then, appearing irritated at not being able to access the contents, it seems to take out this frustration on one of the numerous passing Lethrinid (tropical snapper), boxing it away with a jab of its arm.
The octopus shows its belligerent tendencies again later in the clip before quickly departing as the BRUV is visited by a grey reef shark.
Our BRUVs have also captured visits by white reef sharks, other octopuses (or octupi or octopodes depending on your school of thought!) and all by countless fish species.

  • Post by: Auckland Museum

    Auckland War Memorial Museum tells the story of New Zealand, its people, and their place in the Pacific.