National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Towed-diver Surveys of Benthic Habitat, Key Benthic Species, and Marine Debris Sightings of American Samoa in 2015

The towed-diver method is used to conduct benthic surveys, assessing large-scale disturbances (e.g., bleaching) and quantifying benthic components such as habitat complexity/type and the general distribution and abundance patterns of live coral, crustose coralline algae (CCA), macroalgae, and macroinvertebrates. Surveys are conducted in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island Areas as part of the NOAA National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP). A suitable method for assessing relatively large areas of reef habitat, the method involves towing a pair of SCUBA divers—one benthic and one fish—behind a small boat for approximately 50 min following the ~15-m depth contour and covering about 2–3 km of habitat. Each diver is equipped with a towboard and attempts to maintain a constant elevation above the surface of the reef (~1 m) for the duration of the survey. A complete towed-diver survey is divided into 10, 5-min segments, with visual observations recorded by 5-min segment.

The visual estimate data provided in this dataset were collected during towed-diver surveys which includes percentage cover of total live hard corals, stressed hard corals, soft corals, sand, coralline algae, and macroalgae, and the number of individual macroinvertebrates (crown of thorns starfish (COTS), sea urchins, and giant clams). Benthic habitat complexity and type data are also collected as part of the survey with the following habitat type categories: continuous reef, spur and groove, patch reefs, rock boulders, pavement, rubble flat, sand flats, pinnacle, and wall.

The data were collected around American Samoa as part of the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) led mission in 2015. These data can be accessed online via the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) Ocean Archive.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated June 22, 2019, 00:26
Created June 10, 2017, 17:57
access_constraints ["Access Constraints: None\n | Use Constraints: Please cite NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) when using the data.\n\nSuggested citation:\n\nCoral Reef Ecosystem Program; Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (2016). National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Towed-diver Surveys of Benthic Habitat, Key Benthic Species, and Marine Debris Sightings of American Samoa in 2015. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, https://inport.nmfs.noaa.gov/inport/item/35768. | Distribution Liability: While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty."]
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bbox-west-long -171.092526
contact-email bernardo.vargasangel@noaa.gov
coupled-resource []
dataset-reference-date [{"type": "publication", "value": "2016"}]
frequency-of-update asNeeded
graphic-preview-description A diver conducting a survey of the benthos and benthic habitat using the towed diver method.
graphic-preview-file https://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/cred/img/towboard.jpg
graphic-preview-type JPG
guid gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:35768
licence ["NOAA provides no warranty, nor accepts any liability occurring from any incomplete, incorrect, or misleading data, or from any incorrect, incomplete, or misleading use of the data. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether or not the data is suitable for the intended purpose."]
metadata-date 2019-06-04T13:14:25
metadata-language eng
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