Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the U.S. Pacific Reefs from 2008-01-27 to 2012-09-13 (NCEI Accession 0162472)

The stationary point count (nSPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island Areas as part of NOAA's Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (Pacific RAMP). Raw survey data includes metadata for each survey (where, when, who, area); site characteristics (depth, reef type, habitat, benthic cover); individual reef fish observations identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible (usually species) including size, count, and observation type; and parameters needed to calculate biomass and density. Visual estimates of benthic cover and topographic complexity are also recorded, with benthic organisms grouped into broad functional categories (e.g., 'Hard Coral', 'Macroalgae'). A stratified random sampling (StRS) design is employed to survey the coral reef ecosystems throughout the U.S.-Pacific regions. For all regions, the survey domain encompasses the majority of the mapped area of reef and hard bottom habitats and the stratification includes island, reef zone, and depth, with the exception of the Main Hawaiian Islands that includes habitat structure type as well. Sampling effort is allocated based on strata area.

Stationary Point Counts (nSPC) is a non-invasive underwater-survey method that enumerates the diverse components of diurnally active shallow-water reef fish assemblages. At each REA survey sites, nSPC fish surveys are conducted at 4 stations in conjunction with, but at least 10 m away from 3 consecutively-placed, 25m transect lines to quantify relatively larger (>25 cm Total Length [TL]) and more agile fish species. All fishes >25 cm TL are recorded to species-level that enter a 20 m diameter cylinder (area ~314 m2) during a timed 5-minute count. Individuals or groups are estimated to the nearest 5 cm TL size-class bin. Four replicate, 5-minute cylinder counts are conducted at each station. Care is taken to avoid over-counting large transient or schooling species. Transects lines and stations are typically set at depths of 10-15 m. Reef ledges and holes are visually searched. Stations are completed on all sides of the island/atoll, weather and sea conditions permitting. Raw survey data include species level abundance estimates.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated September 19, 2017, 02:35
Created June 3, 2017, 01:59
access_constraints ["Cite as: Coral Reef Ecosystem Program, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (2017). Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the U.S. Pacific Reefs from 2008-01-27 to 2012-09-13 (NCEI Accession 0162472). Version 1.1. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. [access date]", "NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose."]
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