Monitoring Live Food Fish Trade?

Gregor Hodgson gregorh at
Fri May 18 13:52:56 EDT 2001

The Reef Check monitoring protocols were designed to include several key
indicator species to assess impacts of the live food fish trade on reefs
including the Maori (humphead) wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), bumphead
parrotfish,  (Bolbometopon muricatum), Barramundi cod (Cromileptes
altivelis) and the families Sweetlips (Haemulidae e.g. Plectorhincus
spp) and coral trout (grouper). Reef Check also includes invertebrates
collected live for food such as lobster. Thus, standard Reef Check
methods are a good starting point for monitoring the live food fish (and
shellfish) trade, but may be supplemented as needed with additional
species, and of course multiple temporal and spatial replicates as
desribed in:

Hodgson, G. and C.M. Stepath. 1999. Using Reef Check for long-term coral
reef monitoring in Hawaii. p. 173-184. In: Maragos JE, Grober-Dunsmore R
(eds). Proceedings of the Hawaii Coral Reef Monitoring Workshop, June
8-11, 1998. Department of Land and Natural Resources and East-West
Center for Development,  Honolulu, HI, USA. 334 pages.  (available at under "Publications")

More recently, Reef Check and Marine Aquarium Council have collaborated
on the design of a more intensive protocol (MAT Monitoring) to
independently monitor  the effects on reefs of collection of reef
organisms for the marine aquarium trade. As William knows (since he
helped), this latter protocol was reviewed at the NOAA Workshop in
Jakarta last month and suggestions were made on additional protocols
that would be helpful to provide more complete coverage for aquarium
trade organisms. The final MAT protocols are currently being edited and
will be tested later this summer in the Philippines and Indonesia.

The monitoring philosophy and suite of techniques reviewed and selected
at the Jakarta Workshop would be a useful starting point for those
interested in monitoring the live food fish trade. For info about the
NOAA Workshop, please contact Andy Bruckner <Andy.Bruckner at>

For info about Reef Check or the MAT protocols, contact RC Program
Manager, Jennifer Liebeler, at <rcheck at>

Gregor Hodgson, PhD
Director, Reef Check Foundation
Professor (Visiting), Institute of the Environment
1652 Hershey Hall 149607
University of California at Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496 USA

Office Tel: 310-794-4985  Fax: 310-825-0758 or 310-825-9663
Email: gregorh at  Web:

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