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 survey method.
The survey team consists of a minimum of 2 researchers and a dive guide. 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 an L-Stick device that is 1 meter by 30cm 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 data set per survey dive and is inputted into the databases every afternoon. Each assistant is provided with a Fish Identification pre arrival study guide. They also undergo a thorough training upon arrival and must pass a fish identification test with a minimum of 90% for their data to be counted.
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. This data is shared with Indonesia’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs as well as used for our resident scientists research.
Locations: Penida, Komodo, Bunaken, Bira