Your coral watch survey
We ask for your help to:
- Assess the status of a coral reef indicator species, the parrotfish
- Assess coral reef health
Coral bleaching and health
The coral health will be assessed using the materials and methods developed by CoralWatch, https://coralwatch.org . The CoralWatch chart standardizes health by categorizing coral color in a very simple way that can be used divers, tourists, students, and scientists. Despite the simplicity of categorizing coral health according to colors, this data is extremely valuable for assessing coral health on a global level.
Parrotfish will also be used as an indicator for coral health and overfishing. Parrotfish are dependent upon healthy coral to survive. Parrotfish are also considered a delicacy and are often targeted by fishermen. When you see a lot of parrotfish that means there is healthy coral and low levels of fishing.
Watch this video as an overview for an explanation on what to record
- Identify the survey site
- Snorkel or dive to the designated survey site. Record coral health observations using the random method in which you swim in an imaginary line and start recording data after every second fin kick.
- Parrotfish: Indicators of coral health and overfishing
- If any parrotfish species (it does not matter which species) is observed, then use the coral health slate to record the health and shape of the coral the parrot fish was eating from or the coral closest to the parrot fish. Only record one individual parrotfish during a single coral health assessment. For example, if you observe one parrotfish eating from a coral and then swimming to another coral, you would have one record for that individual parrotfish. If you observe an additional two different parrotfish, then you would have a total of three parrotfish observations associated with three different coral health scores.
- Coral health
- If a parrot fish was not observed, then use the random survey method to continue with the survey.
- Use the coral health slate to record the health and shape of 20 coral (including the coral visited by parrotfish, if observed).
- Coral Cover
- If possible, take an overhead wide-angle, photograph of the below coral that was surveyd. This photograph will be used to measure percent coral cover at a later date. The coral health slate should not be in the photograph.
Entering your data into the database
- Enter your data into the CoralWatch database. You will have to create an account.
- Include the name of the dive site
- Enter your coral health scores and coral shapes
- Upload the overhead photographs of each assessed coral or site (if available)
Add in the notes which coral the parrotfish was observed.