Being able to conduct rapid species assessments is becoming increasingly more important as a conservation research tool. Our research team uses the ‘Roving Diver Technique”, a visual surveying method designed specifically for actively seeking out and positively identifying indicator species. Data on species composition, sighting frequency, and abundance of all fishes are collected using this surveying method.
The data is submitted into various online databases including eOceans, SharkBase, and Reef.org. By submitting the data onto these platforms we contribute to marine conservation efforts worldwide. Furthermore we input into our own free and open access database for the general public. This data base can be used in university research projects by our participants worldwide or the Indonesia’s Department of Fisheries.
The research team goes out 4 days a week for 2 dives throughout the marine park to conduct Roving Survey dives with. Each researcher undergoes a thorough training upon arrival at the project including diving certifications and fish identification training before their data is counted on the survey dives.
Lead by our resident marine biologist and certified dive instructor, the research team records all correctly identified indicator species over 30cm for the duration of 30 minutes. The size is confirmed using a t-stick device that is 1 meter by 30 cm and data is recorded on slates including species name, number of individuals, size, sex, time, and depth. Once on the surface the group’s data is compared and combined into one set of data per survey dive and to be inputted into the databases every afternoon.