This is the first large scale trend analysis done using REEF data. The paper looked at 21 sites throughout the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Analysis methods were modified from those applied to the Breeding Bird Survey in order to detect sites with multi-species declines. A sub-set of sites were identified and potential management options were discussed. Click here to read the abstract.
Data collected by expert observers were used to evaluate the effect of Sanctuary Preservation Areas in the Florida Keys NMS on fishery-targeted species. Frequency of occurrence of species such as snappers, groupers, and hogfish were greater in sites that had protection from harvesting.
A poster presentation on the REEF/TNC Fish Survey Project with examples of three applications of data generated by the Project. These include evaluating the effect of marine protected areas, mapping species distribution, and applications in general assessment.
As a result of REEF surveyors visiting the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, a new color phase of the smooth trunkfish was documented at the Flower Garden Banks. The occurrence of this golden morph is reported in this paper.
In 1997, REEF surveyors discovered a colony of garden eels during survey dives in the Gulf of Mexico that didn't' look quite right to be the usual brown garden eel. After sending images and ultimately a specimen to Dr. John Randall, the mystery species was identified as a new species of conger eel, the yellow garden eel (Heteroconger luteolus). The description of the new species was published in 1999.
The quality of fish census data generated by REEF volunteers of various experience levels is examined and compared with data generated by experts. The similarity in species reported, the similarity in abundance category recorded, and the statistical power to detect change are used in the comparison. Species composition and structure is comparable between the skill levels. When sighted, most species are reported with similar abundance categories. The ability to detect change in many species is better for the nonexpert data, a result of higher survey effort for the nonexperts. Species that are cryptic or rare have low power (change had to be large before it could be detected) regardless of the skill level, but are generally better using expert data.
a manual for data collection, processing, and interpretation of fish survey information for the tropical northwest Atlantic
This manual describes all aspects of REEF data collection and processing. It also provides examples of interpretation of the Fish Survey Project data, and how REEF data are used for The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Profiles.
Chapters 2, 4, and 5 of this dissertation present data collected using the RDT. Chapter 2 presents the complete fish assemblage reported by RDT and Stationary Diver Technique (SDT; referred to in Bohnsack, 1996, as the SST) surveys over three years of semi-annual surveys of the Flower Gardens and Stetson Bank, in the northwest Gulf of Mexico. Chapter 4 examines the quality of fish census data generated by REEF nonexperts, and was published in the Journal of Gulf of Mexico Science (Pattengill-Semmens and Semmens, 1998). Chapter 5 provides discussion on the applications and reasons for choosing the RDT and the SDT for this project. A comparison between the abundance estimates of the two methods and the biases inherent in each is also given.
Roving diver data gathered by expert volunteers in the Florida Keys are presented and discussed. These data are found to be comparable to other Florida Keys published studies. Differences in the fish assemblages between the three regions of the Keys, the upper, lower, and the Dry Tortugas, are reported and evaluated. This paper was the first published account of the Roving Diver Technique (RDT).
This report is a summary of the first 3 years of the Fish Survey Project in the Florida Keys, with comparisons among FKNMS sites and with other distant regions. It demonstrates some ways in which data from the Project can be used.