St. John USVI Fish Assessment


Fish and macroinvertebrate abundance and size data collected for reefs and seagrass habitats surounding St. John  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. John USVI Fish Assessment

Direct Download: OBIS St. John USVI Fish Assessment

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

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

Site Location: St. John

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.

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 Team Publication_Date: 200703 Title: St. John, USVI Fish Assessment and Monitoring Data (2002 - Present) Publication_Information: Publication_Information: Publication_Place: Silver Spring, MD Publisher: 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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