National Coral Reef Monitoring Program:
Tracking Biological Trends
Fishing pressures, climate change, and pollution are just some of the many stressors on marine life within coral reef ecosystems. Researchers identified the following biological indicators to assess the condition of coral reefs and associated reef fish communities.
Reef fish – reef-related fish diversity, distribution, abundance, and size
Habitats – composition, complexity, and key species
Data are collected through diving surveys of shallow-water (0-30 meters) areas. Scientists and coastal managers then use these data to evaluate coral reef and fish population management strategies, document endangered or invasive marine species, and assist with local monitoring efforts.
Edwards, K.F., J. Blondeau, L.J.W. Grove, S.H. Groves, S.D. Hile, M.W. Johnson, C. Langwiser, L. Siceloff, E.K. Towle, T.S. Viehman, and B. Williams. 2021. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program, Biological monitoring summary – U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico: 2019. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS CRCP 40. 27 pp. doi: 10.25923/fdp6-qv15
K. McCoy, J. Asher, P. Ayotte, A. Gray, K. Lino, T. Kindinger, and I. Williams. 2018. Reef fishes and benthic habitats of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and American Samoa. PIFSC data report DR-19-008. https://repository.library.noaa.gov/view/noaa/19591.
Heenan A, Williams ID, Acoba T, DesRochers A, Kosaki RK, Kanemura T, Nadon MO, Brainard RE. 2017. Long-term monitoring of coral reef fish assemblages in the Western central pacific. Scientific Data. 4:170176. https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2017.176.
Williams ID, Baum JK, Heenan A, Hanson KM, Nadon MO, Brainard RE (2015) Human, Oceanographic and Habitat Drivers of Central and Western Pacific Coral Reef Fish Assemblages. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0120516. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120516
Appearing as solitary forms in the fossil record more than 400 million years ago, corals are extremely ancient animals that evolved into modern reef-building forms over the last 25 million years. Continue Reading →
coral reef conservation program
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) is a partnership between the NOAA Line Offices that work on coral reef issues: the National Ocean Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service. The CRCP brings together expertise from across NOAA for a multidisciplinary approach to managing and understanding coral reef ecosystems.
Contact CRCP →
NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program
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Silver Spring, MD 20910
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NOAA's Coral Reef Information System
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