[Coral-List] Assessing reef health through fish ID

Gus Fordyce GusFordyce.2011 at my.bristol.ac.uk
Tue Mar 17 05:17:45 EDT 2015

Dear coral-listers,

I'm about to start a position in Mozambique as scientific coordinator for a
marine conservation volunteer program, and could use some guidance. One of
my key roles upon arriving out there will be to design a fish ID training
program that will standardize the way volunteers collect data on species
abundances and locations, all with the aim of assessing the changing health
of the reefs without introducing volunteer bias.

What species (or even taxa) are sensitive to changes in reef health and so
can be a good measure of the health of the reef? My immediate thought was
to look near the top end of the food chain, but I also want volunteers to
have a good chance of seeing them so we can build a large dataset and they
can have a good time!

Advice on successful training techniques would also be helpful.
Any and all help is much appreciated,

Gus Fordyce

MSci Biology student
University of Bristol

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