Preliminary Results Available for Reef Fish Survey in the Main Hawaiian Islands

During August 1-23, 2013, scientists of the PIFSC Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED) and partners conducted 1031 research dives around the islands of Hawaiʻi, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi, Kauaʻi, Niʻihau, and Oʻahu as part of a Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP) expedition in the main Hawaiian Islands. The NOAA Ship Hiʻialakai was the base of operations. The expedition, designated as PIFSC mission HA-13-04, was the fifth Pacific RAMP survey for the main Hawaiian Islands performed since the program began in 2000. Pacific RAMP is part of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan of NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program. It enables long-term monitoring of the status and trends of coral reefs in the U.S. Pacific and the physical and chemical processes that affect those ecosystems.

During RAMP surveys, teams of divers collect observations of fish, benthic organisms, and oceanographic conditions and deploy fixed biological and oceanographic monitoring stations. Much of the data collected can require extensive post-collection processing. However, data collected by the fish survey team is readily available for preliminary analysis immediately after data entry and quality checking. Here, we provide a summary overview of the survey effort and a preliminary evaluation of the data collected during the HA-13-04 expedition.

Mean values of total fish biomass (g m-2) recorded at the sites surveyed in August 2013 during the most recent Pacific RAMP 
        expedition in the main Hawaiian Islands.
Mean values of total fish biomass (g m-2) recorded at the sites surveyed in August 2013 during the most recent Pacific RAMP expedition in the main Hawaiian Islands.
Mean values of fish biomass (g m-2) by consumer group.
               Error bars indicate ± 1 standard error of the mean. Mean values of fish biomass (g m-2) by size class. Fish length was 
               measured as total length (TL) in centimeters.  Error bars indicate ± 1 standard error of the mean.
Mean values of fish biomass (g m-2) by consumer group (left panel) and by size class (right panel). Fish length was measured as total length (TL) in centimeters. Error bars indicate ± 1 standard error of the mean.