The Modular Optical Underwater Survey System. Academic Article uri icon


  • The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center deploys the Modular Optical Underwater Survey System (MOUSS) to estimate the species-specific, size-structured abundance of commercially-important fish species in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. The MOUSS is an autonomous stereo-video camera system designed for the in situ visual sampling of fish assemblages. This system is rated to 500 m and its low-light, stereo-video cameras enable identification, counting, and sizing of individuals at a range of 0.5-10 m. The modular nature of MOUSS allows for the efficient and cost-effective use of various imaging sensors, power systems, and deployment platforms. The MOUSS is in use for surveys in Hawaii, the Gulf of Mexico, and Southern California. In Hawaiian waters, the system can effectively identify individuals to a depth of 250 m using only ambient light. In this paper, we describe the MOUSS's application in fisheries research, including the design, calibration, analysis techniques, and deployment mechanism.

publication date

  • October 11, 2017