Volume 58

Fishery-Independent Survey: Strategy for Monitoring and Assessment of Reef Fishes in the Florida Keys, USA

Acosta, A.R., K.L. Ferguson, C. Guenther
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Date: November, 2005

Pages: 486

Event: Proceedings of the Fifty Eighth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Andres

Country: Colombia


Fisheries management is often based on data collected through multiple survey programs. However, fisheries independent monitoring programs for commercially important reef fish species are scarce due in large part to the difficulty of achieving an effective sampling design and the cost involved in conducting these surveys.  In this poster, we describe a method for monitoring abundance and size structure of fish assemblages in the Florida Keys, USA. This poster presents the development and evaluation of the visual census sampling methodology for commercial reef fishes in the Florida Keys, USA. We describe present density estimates and spatial distribution patterns for the most important commercial species. A power analysis conducted shows that the statistical power to detect change in fish densities between years was low and this was primarily due to the high variability in the abundance of each species. Finally, we discuss the benefits and limitations of this sampling approach for monitoring reef fishes in the Florida Keys.

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