Cooperative Multi-Agency Reef Fish Monitoring Protocol - Florida Keys Coral Reef Ecosystem
Right-click on the image to download the full report (pdf, 7.5 MB)
Reef fish populations are conspicuous and essential components of coral
reef ecosystems in the south Florida region. Recent precipitous declines
in these populations are believed to be due to severe habitat degradation
as well as significant increases in recreational and commercial fishing.
The monitoring methodologies described in this document are necessary
for understanding how natural and manmade stressors are changing reef
fish populations and communities. These stressors will continue to increase,
and understanding the responses of populations and communities will be
critical for their sustainable management. This document provides the
background behind and descriptions of the protocols developed for a collaborative,
multi-agency effort to monitor reef fish populations in the Florida Keys
and Dry Tortugas. Agencies involved include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration Southeast Fisheries Science Center (NOAA Fisheries), Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Florida Fish and Wildlife
Research Institute (FWRI), the University of Miami's Rosenstiel
School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM-RSMAS), and the National
Park Service (NPS). This collaborative effort is the culmination of nearly
three decades of independent Florida Keys monitoring programs aimed at
fish populations in the region.
This document first gives an overview of the objectives of the monitoring
program, which are focused on tracking changes in the abundances, spatial
distributions and size structures of exploited reef fish species and the
reef fish community as a whole. These changes are evaluated each year with
respect to the habitat features, the physical environment and potential
management actions that may have affected the dynamics of the populations.
Cooperative Multi-Agency Reef Fish Monitoring Protocol - Florida Keys Coral Reef Ecosystem (full report, 7.5 MB)
Citation: Brandt, M.E., N. Zurcher, A. Acosta, J.S.
Ault, J.A. Bohnsack, M.W. Feeley, D.E.
Harper, J.H. Hunt, T. Kellison, D.B. McClellan, M.E. Patterson, and
S.G. Smith. 2009. A cooperative multi-agency reef fish monitoring
protocol for the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem. Natural Resource
National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
For more information, contact:
Jim Bohnsack (Jim.Bohnsack@noaa.gov)
or Marilyn Brandt (firstname.lastname@example.org)