National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)/National Ocean Service (NOS)/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)/Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA)/Biogeography Branch, 201306, Baseline assessment of the fish and benthic communities of the Flower Garden Banks (NODC Accession 0118358): NOAA's Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Silver Spring, MD.
Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 0.00001. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.00001. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees.
This is a cooperative effort between NOAA/NCCOS/CCMA Biogeography Branch and NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries Program
1) To design an appropriate sampling and monitoring strategies for fish and benthic community sampling, as well as data collection, during the first year funding, 2) during subsequent years, focus on refinement of the sampling strategies and continuing to build on the baseline dataset, 3) groundtruthing and collection of underwater imagery and video to improve existing map products, 4) the banks begin at 150m depth and reach to within 17m of the water's surface, therefore multiple survey techniques will need to be employed using a random stratified sampling design. An ROV will be utilized to survey the deeper water communities, a combination of divers and technical divers will survey the banks down to ~50m, and ship-based hydroacoustics will be utilized to survey fish densities over the entire depth range; and 5) to analyze the information gathered to help guide sanctuary resource management decisions.
These data consists of percent cover, abundance, size, and composition of benthic communities of the coral caps within the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) at depths between 110 and 150 feet. For 2011, sites were randomly selected within strata (East and West Bank, low and high relief coral).
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