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, sometimes also called Underwater Visual Census Survey. Data on species composition, sighting frequency, and abundance of specific fish species are collected using this survey method.
The survey team consists of a minimum of 2 researchers and a trained dive guide. Lead by our resident marine biologist and certified dive instructor, the research team records all identified indicator species over 20cm for the duration of 30 minutes, before carrying on the rest of the dive for fun! 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 three identification manuals – Sharks, Rays & Turtles; Fish Identification and Key Species / Species of Interest. 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.
We input this data into our open access database and data can be used for in-house publications as well as intern’s who would like to conduct research as part of a university thesis *additional criteria required. 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