ReefCheck protocol / comments (fwd)

James C. Hendee hendee at
Tue Jan 7 12:06:35 EST 1997

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 12:29:59 +0100
From: Moshira Hassan <mhassan at>
To: coral-list at
Subject: ReefCheck protocol / comments

Sorry for cross-posting on the coral-list and IYOR list

Thanks for the drafts of the protocols for Reef Check. It seems like it was
quite a bit of work to put together. I am sure Reef Check can work and I am
lloking forward to participating.

I would like to offer some comments about the procedures and hope to hear
your opinions about it.

FIRSTLY, I fully agree with Rick Craig and Bill Alevizon that sites should
not be chosen as "to be considered to be the best available". For the same
reasons Rick and Bill have noted.

*I would like to point out, that the choice of sites will be biased in some
way or another depending on the facilities you will be using. The
IYOR-Germany committee is trying to get a good group together for the Red
Sea, mainly Egypt. We would be "operating" out of diving schools and
centers and using the help of tourists. It might be difficult to actually
"choose" the site as we would be subject to dive-operator sites.
* Generally tourists prefer diving at "good sites". One could surely also
find very dedicated tourists/naturalists who would be ready to also visit
what are considered "bad dive sites".
* The typical tourist likes to visit each site once and then look for
something new (no comment on that attitude). I am sure we can convince the
diving schools and the tourists to spend an entire day, i.e. 2 dives and
snorkeling at a given site.
***So, in fact while there are solutions to the difficulties using diving
centers, we will always be compromising in some way as to the choice of the
sites and the amount of time we can spend there.

QUESTION positioning of transects
I am not quite sure I got the idea: Do you simply mean two transects at 3m,
4m, 10m, and 11m? Arranged as a staircase rather than directly below each

>>>depth positioning should be secondary to coral zonation/habitat-type
*I agree that ecologically the zonation/habitat-types are more important
considerations than water depth. In a project as large as Reef Check with
so many different people doing the surveys, I believe it is important to
use a "measurable" parameter such as water depth. A possibility would be
that everybody uses the same depths in the core protocoll. In addition site
specific zones can also be assessed.
*I do agree with Bill in that >>first priority is that the transects need
to be positioned so as to not cross habitat boundaries<<<

FOURTH: Fish "transects"
*Also agree with Bill, that timed counts are more appropriate to count fish
than using the 20m transect belts.

These are just thoughts, and I hope to hear the ideas of people with more
experience than myself on the subject.

Wish you all a wonderful merry Christmas and a happy and successfull New
Year 1997. it will be "our year"!!! So I am sure it will be great!

cheers, moshira

                                 NEW TELEPHONE!! 0431-6002822

Moshira Hassan/ GEOMAR / Research Center for Marine Geosciences
Wischhofstr. 1-3; 24148 Kiel; Germany
Tel: (49) 431 /6002822          FAX:     (49) 431 / 6002941
email: mhassan at

See German activites at:

" long and thanks for all the fish.."

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