St. Croix USVI Fish Assessment


Fish and macroinvertebrate abundance and size data collected for reefs and seagrass habitats surounding St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) by the Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessments Biogeography Team are available at OBIS. The OBIS compiled data includes species name, individual count, lat/lon, and some environmental correlates like depth and salinity. 

Dataset Location: OBIS St. Croix USVI Fish Assessment

Direct Download: OBIS St. Croix USVI Fish Assessment

Related Datasets: OBIS St. Croix USVI Coral Algea and Reef Plants; OBIS St. John USVI Fish Assessment [Wiki]

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science National Coral Reef Monitoring Program Database

Site Location: Buck Island National Monument, St. Croix

Site(s) Georeferenced: Yes

Timespan: 2001 - 2010

Sampling Frequency: annual

Data Collection Summary / Methods: Standard protocols developed by the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program are implemented by the Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessments Biogeography Team for the US Caribbean (Puero Rico and the Virgin Islands). Sampling ocurrs in nearshore benthic habitats (< 100 ft depth). Divers traverse a 25 m belt transect in a randomly chosen compass direction from an established GPS coordinate. The transect takes 15 min and all fish and macroinvertebrates (conch, lobster, Diadema) within 2m of the transect are recorded. Individuals are indentified as best as possible between family and species and tallied by 5 cm size class groups.

For detailed fish metadata -

For detailed benthic habitat metadata -

Data collected: Fish and macroinvertebrate species ID, distribution, abundance, size; benthic composition

From OBIS Metadata - "There are 5 fields from the original data represented in the notes column. From left to right, they are batch_code, survey_index, habitat_structure, permanent_random and trophic. These are defined as follows: i. batch_code – an alphanumeric code that identifies the region, month and year of each mission. ii. survey_index – a numerical index that uniquely identifies each specific station done within a mission. iii. habitat_structure- the structure of a specific station. Can be hard, soft, or mangrove. iv. permanent_random – represents whether the sample area is a predetermined, consistently resampled site or randomly selected for the given mission. v. trophic_level – trophic group of fish derived from To identify individual records for these data, the OBIS field CATALOGNUMBER was formulated by concatenating batch_code, survey_index, and a unique, positive integer value"

OBIS data schema: species name, individual count, date, location, temperature, depth, salinity, nitrogen, oxygen, silicate.

Known Issues:

From detailed fish metadata -

"Habitat strata initially consisted of hard bottom, sand, and seagrass. Sand and seagrass strata were subsequently combined into one soft bottom strata at all three locations.

"The sample area in St. Croix has increased over time. Initially, samples were collected within historic Buck Island National Monument boundaries as well as outside up to a distance of 0.5 km from those boundaries. In February 2002 the sampling effort was increased to include the entire expanded monument boundaries. Finally in April 2003 the effort was increased again to include areas outside of the Monument for control sites. This area is now almost entirely enclosed within the East End Marine Park of St. Croix."

Best Practices: tips for separating the wheat from the chaff
Conditions for use: 'freely available' and 'open-access' as per OBIS:

From detailed fish metadata - "Please reference NOAA/NCCOS/CCMA/Biogeography Team when utilizing these data in a report or peer reviewed publication. Additionally, knowledge of how this dataset has been of use and which organizations are utilizing it is of great benefit for ensuring this information continues to meet the needs of the management and research communities. Therefore, it is requested but not mandatory, that any user of this data supply this information to the Program Manager: Kimberly Woody (email:"

Citation/ Distributing Authors: Originator: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)-National Ocean Service (NOS)-National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)-Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA)-Biogeography TeamPublication_Date: 200703Title: St. Croix, USVI Fish Assessment and Monitoring Data (2002 - Present) Publication_Information:Publication_Information:Publication_Place: Silver Spring, MDPublisher: NOAAs Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)

Supplemental resources:

National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan -

Nationa Centers for Coastal Ocean Science -

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Ocean Service -

Available via the EcoData Retriever: No

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