Reef Life Survey: Global reef fish dataset
CitationReef Life Survey (2022). Reef Life Survey: Global reef fish dataset. Sampling event dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/qjgwba accessed via GBIF.org on 2023-09-25.
DescriptionThis dataset contains records of bony fishes and elasmobranchs collected by Reef Life Survey (RLS) divers along 50m transects on shallow rocky and coral reefs, worldwide. Abundance information is available for all records found within quantitative survey limits (50 x 5 m swathes during a single swim either side of the transect line, each distinguished as a Block), and out-of-survey records are identified as presence-only (Method 0). Although surveys are undertaken as part of monitoring programs at particular locations (mostly in Australia), this dataset contains does not include repeat surveys of sites.
PurposeThe dataset generated by recreational divers provides a national framework for monitoring the state of the inshore environment and the identification of those threats and locations of greatest conservation concern. The project also increases awareness and interest by the recreational diving community in marine issues, and enhanced scientific capacity of personnel in regional areas.
Quality ControlData in the RLS global reef fish dataset have been collected by a combination of experienced scientists and skilled recreational divers, with all divers having either substantial prior experience in reef fish surveys or extensive training in the RLS methods. Quality control procedures are described in detail in Edgar & Stuart-Smith 2014 and results of an analysis of data quality differences between volunteer divers and professional scientists are presented in Edgar & Stuart-Smith 2009.
- Line transects 50 m in length are laid along a depth contour. Fishes are surveyed in two 5 m wide by 5 m high bands or ("blocks"), parallel with the 50 m transect line. During the fish survey, the number and estimated size-category of all fishes sighted within 5 m blocks either side of the transect line, and within a 5 m high ceiling (and 5 m deep floor if applicable, see section on methods for surveying walls in appendix 2, in manual) is recorded as the divers swim slowly along the block. Size-classes of total fish length (from snout to tip of tail, or longest distance, including for stingrays) used are 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10.0, 12.5, 15.0, 20.0, 25.0, 30.0, 35.0, 40.0, 50.0, 62.5 cm, and above. Lengths of fish larger than 62.5 cm should be estimated to the nearest 12.5 cm and individually recorded. GPS location, date, time, depth and visibility are also recorded. See link to the Methods Manual: A Standardized Survey Procedures for Monitoring Reef Ecosystems, for more information.
Reef Life Survey
Reef Life Survey
Atlas of Living Australia
CSIRO Ecosystems Services
administrative point of contact
position: Co investigator
Telephone: (03) 6227 7214