Navigation Links
One fish, two fish … reef fish
Date:3/21/2011

MIAMI March 21, 2011 -- Marine biologists have solved a conundrum that has stumped them for years how to count reef fish. It may sound simple, but the task is actually complex and critical in helping to evaluate the state of our oceans, coral reefs and the marine life that populate them.

In an article published in the journal Fisheries Research scientists from the University of Miami (UM) and NOAA Fisheries Service have collaborated to create a framework that extends and increases the effectiveness of reef monitoring techniques. The new methodology uses a probabilistic survey approach to more precisely count the numbers of fish in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The framework can be used to determine management strategies best suited to ensure the long-term sustainability of reef resources whether in the Florida Keys, Hawaii or in the Indo-Pacific's Coral Triangle.

"The results of this study can be used to support stock assessments of principal exploited species, evaluate the performance of 'no-take' marine reserves, and assess community health for many non-target reef fish species," said Steven Thur, acting manager of NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program. "This is a great example of science directly feeding into management decisions, finding research efficiencies, and of successful collaboration across federal, state, and academic lines so we invest our funds in areas of greatest importance."

The research team includes Steve Smith, Jerry Ault and Jiangang Luo from UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, and Jim Bohnsack, Doug Harper and Dave McClellan from NOAA's Southeast Fisheries Science Center. They began their work in the Florida Keys more than three decades ago.

"This program started when it became obvious that we could not evaluate coral reef fish populations by simply counting how many fish were being landed at the dock," said Bohnsack. "We knew that we could see and measure many more fish than we could ever capture and that we need to be able to use non-destructive assessment methods. At first our interest was on individual reefs, but later expanded to much larger areas as we learned more."

In the early years, a technique using scientific divers was developed to reliably count the number and sizes of reef fish by species. In the mid-90's a statistical method was developed to link diver visual counts and advanced mathematical calculations in a rigorous sampling process. This involved dividing the entire Florida Keys reef ecosystem into small sections classified according to simple features like soft and hard bottom, coral, and other features that related to where fish might live. Within each type of habitat a random process was used to select which areas were sampled by divers. This monitoring framework allowed the researchers to calculate the abundance and size-structure of more than 250 exploited and non-target reef fishes from Miami to Key West and out to the Dry Tortugas.

"Through our collaborative work we were able to create a framework that brings together cutting edge techniques in underwater sampling, coral reef mapping and statistical survey design that will serve us well as our marine resources continue to be impacted by fishing, habitat degradation and environmental changes," Smith said.

Although the team began using its theories in the Florida Keys, the new framework is fully transferable to other U.S. coral reef ecosystems and areas around the globe.

"We have already been using this methodology in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to assess multispecies reef fish populations, and federal and local management agencies are extremely pleased with the results of these efforts," said Ault. "We hope to employ this approach in new areas in order to have a single, quantitative framework to assess coral reefs at local, regional, national, and international spatial scales."


'/>"/>

Contact: Barbra Gonzalez
barbgo@rsmas.miami.edu
305-421-4704
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Ocean fish farming harms wild fish, study says
2. Historical photographs expose decline in Floridas reef fish, new Scripps study finds
3. UNH researchers studying spiny dogfish, Gulf of Maines mini shark
4. Undesirable evolution can be reversed in fish, Stony Brook University scientists show
5. Magnetic attraction for fish, crabs?
6. Water, water, everywhere… but is it safe to drink?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
One fish, two fish … reef fish
(Date:2/21/2017)... PORTLAND, Ore. , Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... of Companies (Avamere Health Services, Infinity Rehab, Signature Hospice, ... study that will apply the power of IBM cognitive ... and health centers. By analyzing data streaming from sensors ... into physical and environmental conditions, and obtain deeper learnings ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... research, today announced that it has received Laboratory ... The CAP Accreditation is presented to laboratories that ... and who demonstrate scientifically rigorous processes. ... of excellence in laboratory practices. We,re honored to ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... 2017  RSA Conference -- RSA, a Dell Technologies ... to enhance fraud detection and investigation across digital ... Fraud & Risk Intelligence Suite. The new platform ... insights from internal and external sources as well ... customers from targeted cybercrime attacks. "Fraudsters ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 ... share data, unaudited)Three Months Ended December 31,Twelve Months Ended ... $           ... 89026%Aldurazyme Net Product Revenue 3539(10)%9498(4)%Kuvan ... Product Revenue  756025%297303(2)%Vimizim Net Product ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  MIODx announced ... for two key immunotherapy technologies from the University ... provides a method to monitor a patient for ... PD-L1 and CTLA-4.  The second license extends the ... patient is likely to have an immune-related adverse ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017  Imanis Life Sciences announced today ... oncolytic vaccinia viruses for virotherapy research. These viruses ... Genelux,s proprietary, vaccinia virus-based technology platform for research ... into a partnership with Genelux to offer researchers, ... for use in research," said Dr. Kah ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... David ... Inventors Recognition Reception at Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, Indiana. ... recognition of outstanding contributions to, and success with, commercializing discoveries from Purdue research. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: