Volume 73

The Caribbean has a data MERMAID!

Phillips, M; E. Darling; K. Fisher
Download PDF Open PDF in Browser

Other Information

Date: November, 2020

Pages: 77

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Three Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Virtual

Country: Virtual


The Marine Ecological Research Management AID (MERMAID) was conceptualized as a field-ready tool which vastly reduces the time taken for survey data to be translated into evidence-based management decisions. The need was seen for a tool which reduced the effort spent in validating and reformatting data to facilitate collaboration, communications and decision making. Data collectors log in using either a dedicated or a Google account to enter raw data directly into the platform, where it is automatically cleaned, validated, and georeferenced. MERMAID’s platform allows web browsers to store data offline, uploading it to the cloud when internet connectivity is resumed. This function allows field scientists to enter their data even in remote locations with no internet access. After the data is submitted, administrators are able to download and share a .csv containing the data and its metadata for analysis, and a map-based dashboard allows stakeholders and decision makers to see the sites that have been surveyed from any browser. The public can also see the surveying organisation, and charts describing characteristics such as benthic cover and fish species biomass and composition. Initial development was a collaborative effort between the Wildlife Conservation Society, The World Wildlife Fund and SparkGeo, and was based on Indo-Pacific taxa. In early 2020, MERMAID launched in the Atlantic region, adding hundreds of Atlantic-specific species and support for AGRRA-compatible surveys, with Glover’s Reef in Belize as its pilot site. We are in the process of ingesting legacy data from Glover’s Reef into the database.

PDF Preview