The public expectation around sustainable environmental management of established and emerging aquaculture industries has increased considerably over the past decade. In areas where aquaculture is intensive, or planned to be in the future, establishing robust baseline environmental conditions prior to any development is critical for assessing and attributing change, as well as ensuring operations are environmentally sustainable. However, what a fit-for-purpose baseline is will likely vary depending on the industry and the environmental risk in any given region. Adaptable and flexible environmental assessment methods are required for government to readily facilitate industry development. We have investigated the use of remote methods for collecting broadscale environmental information in prospective aquaculture areas. This includes towed camera systems and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) equipped with spatially calibrated forward-facing and downward facing camera systems in the Mercury Passage, Tasmania, a region where multiple aquaculture industries are currently operating. We found that this system could collect data across multiple levels of ecological complexity and over a large spatial area. As technology advances into the future, methods such as these are likely to become integral, cost-effective components of environmental baselines.