😯 I just started my 4th week here at Biscayne already! Last week (5 June) I was able to drive down to Marathon, FL and learn how to better work with the RVC (reef visual census) surveys, specifically for Biscayne National Park, from an expert: Jen of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
My project will include statistical analyses on the occurrence, temporal and spatial densities, and sizes of the reef-fish populations within the park from 1999 to 2018 using the program R and Microsoft Excel. I will also document the code used, so that similar analyses can be done in the future. You can read about the history, sampling design, and general statistics of the fish surveys here 🙂 There are nearly 500 species of fish identified by the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program, so in order to better organize the data, fish will be grouped by common family, such as snappers, groupers, and wrasse. As commercial and recreational fishing, hurricanes, coral bleaching, coastal development and other activities have increased and developed over time, it will be interesting to see exactly how the reef fish communities have changed over this nearly 20-year period as there are implications of ecosystem degradation and overexploitation.