Dataset: AIMS Long-term Monitoring Program: Visual Census Fish Data (Great Barrier Reef)


About 50 selected reefs throughout the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are sampled in the AIMS Long-term Monitoring Project (LTMP). A visual census of fish on fixed transects (3 sites per reef, 5 x 50 m transects per site). Fishes from a list of 191 species, representing 10 families, are counted. \n \nIndividuals, Genus, Species are counted for a prescribed list of 212 species: all the parrotfishes, damselfishes, surgeon fishes, butterflyfishes, and some others. A full list of species observed each year are included in the appendices of each AIMS status report. \n \nIn 2004 a new zoning plan was implemented in the Great Barrier reef Marine Park and in 2006 the pattern of surveys was changed. The original set of reefs (47) are surveyed in odd years (e.g. 2007) and a different set (56 reefs) are surveyed in even years. The new set consists of paired reefs (one no-take, and one open to fishing) surveyed to assess the effects of rezoning. The paired reefs are near Cairns and Innisfail, Townsville, Mackay, the Swain Reefs and the Capricorn-Brunker group. \n \nThe lengths of coral trout only are standardly recorded.\n To detect changes in reef fish communities over time at a regional scale.\n All fish species counted are largely non-cryptic, easily identified underwater and include both commercial and non-commercial taxa. Because surveys span the annual recruitment season, 0+ individuals are excluded from counts: these are distinguished from adults by their small size and often distinctive colouration. \n \nAbundance data for each fish species is subsequently summed over the five transects at each site on each reef to provide reasonable sample sizes for analysis and interpretation. \n \nUpdated results of surveys can be found at: \n \n \nA subset of the data has been provided to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS, \n \nData have been used for the e-Atlas: \n\n

General Information