Since its launch in 1993, the REEF Volunteer Fish Survey Project (VFSP) has generated one of the largest marine life databases in the world. The database currently includes almost 278,000 surveys, from more than 15,000 sites throughout the world’s oceans. More than 16,000 volunteer divers and snorkelers have participated in this citizen science project. Our Top Stats page features a variety of interesting stats for each of our 10 survey regions, including the 10 most frequently sighted species, the top 10 sites for species richness, the top 25 most active surveyors, the number of surveys conducted to date, and species documented in each region. Check it out at www.REEF.org/db/stats. You can view the REEF database by clicking on the "Explore Database" link under the Volunteer Fish Survey Project tab on our website. If you have entered your own surveys, you can also check out your own individual reports under the "My REEF" tab on the website to view your life list and survey log.
REEF citizen scientists make significant and ongoing contributions to our understanding of the marine environment. It's free to participate in the VFSP, and REEF has educational and training opportunities available for beginner and experienced surveyors alike. After a survey is submitted, it goes through a rigorous error checking process to ensure high-quality data. The survey methodology was developed with support from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and guidance by the Southeast Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). To date, more than 150 scientific publications and other reports have included REEF data. To read more about the Volunteer Fish Survey Project or how to get involved, check out www.REEF.org/vfsp.