Volume 69

High Resolution Benthic Habitat Mapping for Marine Management in the Eastern Caribbean

Schill, S., G. Raber, S. Purkis, M. Phillips, and S. Constantine
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Date: November, 2016

Pages: 77 - 78

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty eigth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Grand Cayman

Country: Cayman Islands


Detailed and up-to-date benthic habitat data are extremely rare in the Caribbean and typically limited by resources and technical capacity. We present the first high resolution benthic habitat and bathymetry product for shallow areas (< 30 m depth) across the five OECS countries. High resolution satellite imagery (2 x 2 m pixel) combined with an extensive underwater field surveys were used to create this important marine GIS baseline that serves to quantify the extent and location of key marine ecosystems, providing insight to resource managers when making critical marine management decision. This method demonstrates how Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with limited resources, can employ a scientifically sound, yet relatively low-cost method to develop coastal benthic habitat and bathymetry maps.

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