Images from Meso- and Bathypelagic Surveys in the Gully Marine Protected Area: I: Fish of the 2007 Survey

Published: 13 January 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/98t2p3ttcb.1
Trevor Kenchington, Camille Lirette,
, Merlin Best,


During 2007–10, Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans conducted a series of four midwater-trawl surveys, at meso- and bathypelagic depths, in The Gully – a very large submarine canyon incised into the Scotian Shelf, immediately east of Sable Island, the core of which has been encompassed within a Marine Protected Area since 2004. The surveys followed a fixed-station, depth-stratified design, with replicate sets both in daylight and at night. Most sampling used International Young Gadoid Pelagic Trawls (IYGPTs) –open nets with 60 m² mouth area– worked on double-oblique profiles. Full details of the field methodologies have been presented by Kenchington et al. (2009, 2014). Catches of the 20 abundance- or biomass-dominant fish species have been published by Thompson and Kenchington (2016) and Kenchington et al. (2018, 2020a). The ceratioid anglerfishes have been published by Kenchington et al. (2020b) and DNA barcodes derived from selected specimens by Kenchington et al. (2017). Identifications of fish specimens taken during the surveys are still ongoing (in 2022), while damage in the nets means that not all can be identified to species. It is, nevertheless, certain that specimens from in excess of 240 fish species were captured. Many of those have rarely been seen and most had never been photographed in fresh condition. Thus, a variety of camera systems were taken to sea on the surveys and an attempt made to create images of every species captured. The resulting collection has been catalogued and lightly edited (removing duplicates and unfocused or otherwise valueless images), while erring on the side of retaining any image that might prove useful in the future. Almost all of those retained are in their original formats and resolutions, though some copies subsequently edited for publication have been added. Because of file-size limits, the present collection includes only the 677 catalogued images of fish specimens from the 2007 survey, together with a copy of the entire catalogue of fish images. Individual files are uniquely numbered (from F07001 to F07677), with corresponding entries in the catalogue. The latter presents the contents of each image (typically only a species name, though some entries have more details) and such other image-specific details as are available. Not all images can be linked to particular specimens but, for those which can be, catalogue entries include cross-references to the survey-program’s catch database, which provides further details on the specimens concerned. All images © His Majesty the King in Right of Canada, 2022. Amongst the named authors, the surveys were led by Trevor Kenchington, who also catalogued the images and, working with Cam Lirette, presented them here. Specimen identifications at sea and most of those ashore were by Daphne Themelis, while Bill MacEachern captured most of the images. Other images were taken by Merlin Best, Kevin MacIsaac or Elizabeth Shea.



Fisheries and Oceans Canada Maritimes Region, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Delaware Museum of Natural History


Fish, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Biology, Deep Sea