Abstract written by OBIS-USA using excerpts from CRED Homepage
Quantitative assessment and monitoring of shallow reef fish assemblages is conducted around the US Pacific Islands as an integral part of the NOAA/NMFS/PIFSC Coral Reef Ecosystem Division's mission to improve our scientific understanding of these fish resources and related ecosystems. As fish are the primary sustainable living ... resource on Pacific coral reefs, results contribute to the scientific basis essential for sound management. Related objectives include: creating a fish baseline to measure marine protected area (MPA) effectiveness; monitoring size-frequency of fish assemblages; assessing the status of target, indicator or keystone species; assessing responses by fish communities to possible ecosystem impacts (e.g., fishing, ecotourism, pollution, habitat damage, sedimentation, hurricanes); and assessing species composition and diversity, by area, and the effectiveness of long-term monitoring of managed areas.
Several complementary, noninvasive underwater-surveys are used to enumerate the diverse components of diurnally active shallow-water reef fish assemblages. Survey types include:
(1) Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) to document simple species presence at a station or reef/bank
(2) Belt Transects (BLT) mainly to quantify relatively small-bodied and abundant fishes
(3) Stationary Point Counts (SPC) to quantify relatively larger (>25 cm total length) and more vagile fish species
(4) Towed-Diver Video Surveys (TDVS) to quantify relatively large-bodied (>50 cm total length), wide-ranging fishes over a broad-spatial scale
Each method is replicated at sites within and/or among the various habitat types present around each island or bank. Fish length-class is estimated for all quantified fish to provide an estimate of numerical size structure and biomass densities by taxa.
The mission of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division is to provide sound science to enable informed and effective implementation of ecosystem-based management and conservation strategies for coral reef ecosystems of the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands Region. To accomplish this mission, the Division leads an integrated, interdisciplinary program of ecosystem assessment and long-term monitoring, ... benthic habitat mapping, and applied research on the coral reef ecosystems of 50 primary islands and atolls in the Hawaiian Archipelago, the Mariana Archipelago (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island Areas (PRIA). The Division's work supports NOAA and other agencies in meeting mandates of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 and various executive orders issued to ensure conservation and protection of the nation's coral reef ecosystems.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Record Count 25839, Taxa Count 148
CURRENTNESS REFERENCE: ground condition