Mid West fishers will get a good view of what lies beneath, with fisheries researchers working to deploy underwater cameras to measure the environment. Researchers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development are working alongside commercial rock lobster and fishers to help deploy and retrieve new POTBot cameras. These cameras will film the environment and monitor fish as they head down to the seafloor while recording the temperature. The cameras help build a database of the marine environment and by the middle of this year, Western Australia will have more than 30 of the POTBot cameras deployed. Previously the impacts of unusual environmental conditions underwater could not be observed, but this new tech will change that. A marine heatwave back in 2011 that went from Geraldton to Shark Bay caused significant change to the habitat, seeing the loss of algae and sea grass. The POTBots will be able to document the changes to the environment, along with changes to fish communities in measured areas. DPIRD principal research scientist for offshore crustaceans Simon de Lestang said working alongside commercial fishers would be a great opportunity to have better insight into the marine environment. “Significant habitat change can have major impacts on the productivity of our recreational and commercial fisheries, so learning more about our marine environment through new technology will give us better insight into what’s happening underwater,” he said.