Overview > Biogeographic Assessments/Ecological Characterizations > Biogeographic Surveys of Benthic and Fish Communities in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico from 2001-2012

Biogeographic Surveys of Benthic and Fish Communities in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico from 2001-2012

This project began in 2001 and ended in 2012. For more information about this project contact Sarah Hile or Chris Jeffrey. For information on the linked data files, please contact nccos.data@noaa.gov.

This data compilation includes benthic and fish survey data collected in St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (USVI); La Parguera, Guanica, Jobos Bay, and Vieques, Puerto Rico; and Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) in the Gulf of Mexico. Data were collected on a biennial basis from 2012 through 2012 and in a consistent manner with established protocols by NOAA's NCCOS Biogeography Branch. In 2013, these long-term Caribbean and FGBNMS monitoring efforts merged with other monitoring programs funded by Coral Reef Conservation Program to form the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP), an ongoing program designed to monitor and assess changes in the composition of coral and reef fish communities.

Photos of fish and benthic communities of the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
Credit: NOAA NOS/NCCOS/MSE
Caption: Photos of fish and benthic communities of the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Summary

In the Caribbean, the target objectives were primarily to: 1) spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates (conch, lobster, Diadema); 2) relate this information to in-situ data collected on associated benthic composition parameters; and 3) use this information to establish the knowledge base necessary for enacting management decisions in a spatial setting.

For the Gulf of Mexico, the target objectives were to: 1) design a sampling strategy that will quantify in a spatially robust manner the status of the benthic fish community; 2) carry out the initial implementation of this sampling strategy; 3) relate the data collected describing the fish communities to data concurrently collected on associated benthic composition; 4) groundtruth and collect underwater imagery and video to improve existing map products; 5) employ multiple survey techniques to sample (ROV to survey the deeper water communities, a combination of divers and technical divers, and ship-based hydroacoustics); and 6) analyze the information gathered to help guide sanctuary resource management decisions.

The projects represented in this data compilation were conducted by NOAA NCCOS Biogeography Branch in collaboration with various partners, including NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), the National Park Service, USVI Department of Natural Resources, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), Puerto Rico's Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, University of Puerto Rico, Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and US Department of Agriculture, Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, NOAA’s Center for Coastal Environment and Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR), and NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology (CIORET).

NCRMP is funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program and supported by NCCOS and many other partners.

Download

Data and Documentation (zipped file, 2.56 MB)

  • Datasets (.CSV)
    • Benthic Abiotic Quad Means
    • Benthic Biotic Quad Means
    • Benthic Rapid Habitat Assessment
    • Benthic Macroinverts
    • Fish Abundance
    • Master Station List
  • Data Documentation (.PDF)
  • Data Dictionaries (.XLS)

Citation

Protocols

  • Hile, S.D., C.F.G. Jeffrey, C. Caldow, J.D. Christensen, M.E. Monaco, and J.A. Morgan. 2019 (in prep). Protocols for Characterizing Fish and Associated Benthic Communities in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico: 2001-2012. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 256. Silver Spring, MD. XX pp. doi:10.25923/z3yt-sh37.

Data Web Services

  • National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. 2019 (in prep). NCCOS Surveys: Coral Reef Monitoring 2001-2012, Abiotic Composition. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Data web service.
  • National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. 2019 (in prep). NCCOS Surveys: Coral Reef Monitoring 2001-2012, Biotic Composition. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Data web service.
  • National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. 2019 (in prep). NCCOS Surveys: Coral Reef Monitoring 2001-2012, Rapid Habitat Assessment. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Data web service.
  • National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. 2019 (in prep). NCCOS Surveys: Coral Reef Monitoring 2001-2012, Macroinvertebrates. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Data web service.
  • National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. 2019 (in prep). NCCOS Surveys: Coral Reef Monitoring 2001-2012, Fish Abundance. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Data web service.

Metadata

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