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, 20121025, Fish Community Characterization on Shallow (<30m) Hardbottom Shelf Habitats in St. Croix, USVI. A preliminary field survey to assess operational and logistical approaches to implement the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) in the USVI. (NODC Accession 0088018): 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's Biogeography Branch, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Department of the Interior National Park Service, Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, the University of the Virgin Islands and the University of Miami.
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To determine status, trends, and variability in exploited reef fish species, and fish and benthic communities within the USVI region and inside vs. outside different management zones, using measures such as relative abundance (density), spatial distribution, size structure and diversity.
Data are collected on the following: 1) Logistic information - diver name, dive buddy, date, time of survey, site code, transect bearing.
2) Taxa presence - as the tape roles out at a relatively constant speed, the diver records all fish species to the lowest taxonomic level possible that come within 2m of either side of the transect. To decrease the total time spent writing, four letter codes are used that consist of the first two letters of the genus name followed by the first two letters of the species name. In the rare case that two species have the same four-letter code, alternate four-letter codes are used to distinguish between the species. These alternate codes contain the first two letters of the genus, the first letter of the species and then the first letter in the species name that differs from the other code. If the fish can only be identified to the family or genus level then this is all that is recorded. If the fish cannot be identified to the family level then no entry is necessary.
3) Abundance & size - the number of individuals per species is tallied in 5cm size class increments up to 35cm using visual estimation of fork length. If an individual is greater than 35cm, then an estimate of the actual fork length is recorded.
4) Photos - individuals too difficult to identify or unique in some manner may be photographed for later clarification.
Data Caveats: Site selection is different from prior Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Program (CCREMP) data collection. This data set is the first time a sampling frame has been used to do site selection. CCREMP surveys (2000-2011) had stations on hard- and soft- bottom habitats; this dataset is from hardbottom sites only. CCREMP surveys were conducted only in the northeast portion of St. Croix; primarily waters less than 30 m from Green Cay to Point Udall. This dataset reflects surveys from hardbottom habitats in waters less than 30m around the entirety of St. Croix.
This data consists of fish community surveys across all shallow (<30m) hardbottom marine habitats around St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Sites were selected using a stratified random survey design.
Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
- Access_Constraints: None
- Please reference NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/CCMA/Biogeography Branch when utilizing these data in a report or peer reviewed publication. Additionally, knowledge of how this dataset has been of use and which organizations are utilizing it is of great benefit for ensuring this information continues to meet the needs of the management and research communities. Therefore, it is requested but not mandatory, that any user of this data supply this information to the Program Managers: Randy Clark (Randy.Clark@noaa.gov) or Chris Jeffrey (Chris.Jeffrey@noaa.gov)
These data were prepared by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference therein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. Any views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof. Although all data have been used by NOAA, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA as to the accuracy of the data and/or related materials. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by NOAA in the use of these data or related materials.
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