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Short Citation:
Office of Response and Restoration, 2022: U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands ESI: FISHL (Fish Lines),

Item Identification

Title: U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands ESI: FISHL (Fish Lines)
Short Name: VirginIs_fishl
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2001-08

This data set comprises the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) data for the Virgin Islands. ESI data characterize estuarine environments and wildlife by their sensitivity to spilled oil. The ESI data include information for three main components: shoreline habitats, sensitive biological resources, and human-use resources. This data set contains sensitive biological resource line data for fish.


The ESI data were collected, mapped, and digitized to provide environmental data for oil spill planning and response. The Clean Water Act with amendments by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 requires response plans for immediate and effective protection of sensitive resources.



Other Citation Details:

Prepared by Research Planning, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service, Office of Response and Restoration, Hazardous Materials Response Division, Seattle, Washington; United States Environmental Protection Agency; United States Coast Guard; U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources; British Virgin Islands Conservation and Fisheries Department; and United States Department of the Interior.

Supplemental Information:

Resource Description - ESI Atlas for Virgin Islands


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category environment
ISO 19115 Topic Category oceans
NOS Topic Category Environmental Monitoring
None Coastal resources
None Coastal Zone Management
None Diadromous
None ESI
None Fish
None Oil spill planning
None Sensitivity maps

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None British Virgin Islands
None US Virgin Islands

Physical Location

Organization: Office of Response and Restoration
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: None Planned
Data Presentation Form: atlas
Distribution Liability:

Although these data have been processed successfully on a computer system at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA regarding the utility of the data on any other system, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. NOAA warrants the delivery of this product in computer-readable format, and will offer a replacement copy of the product when the product is determined unreadable by computer input peripherals, or when the physical medium is delivered in damaged condition.

Data Set Credit: This project was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service, Office of Response and Restoration, Hazardous Materials Response Division, Seattle, Washington; United States Environmental Protection Agency; United States Coast Guard; U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources; British Virgin Islands Conservation and Fisheries Department; and United States Department of the Interior.

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 515826
Date Effective From: 2001-08
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:


CC ID: 515828
Date Effective From: 2001-08
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 515829
Date Effective From: 2001-08
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:

Point of Contact

CC ID: 515827
Date Effective From: 2001-08
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:


Currentness Reference: Project time span

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 515832
W° Bound: -65.167
E° Bound: -64.065
N° Bound: 18.943
S° Bound: 17.467

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 515831
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 1998-07
End: 2001-07

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Vector: Yes

Vector Representation 1

CC ID: 589233
Curve Object Present?: Yes
Curve Object Count: 1575
Surface Object Present?: Yes
Surface Object Count: 20

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Procedure:

Contact NOAA for distribution options (see Distribution_Information).;

Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

DO NOT USE MAPS FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES. Besides the above warning, there are no use constraints on these data. Acknowledgment of the publishers and contributing sources listed in Data_Set_Credit (below) would be appreciated in products derived from these data.



CC ID: 515824
URL Type:
Online Resource

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 515846
Activity Date/Time: 2001-08

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 515845
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04-05

Converted from Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (version FGDC-STD-001-1998) using '' script. Contact Tyler Christensen (NOS) for details.

Activity Log 3

CC ID: 589231
Activity Date/Time: 2017-09-13

Partial upload of Spatial Info section only.

Activity Log 4

CC ID: 605380
Activity Date/Time: 2017-11-01

Replaced entire Lineage section to populate new Source Contribution field.

Activity Log 5

CC ID: 719401
Activity Date/Time: 2018-02-08

Partial upload of Positional Accuracy fields only.

Technical Environment


The software packages used to develop the atlas are Environmental Systems Research Institute's ARC/INFO(r) (version 8.0.2) and ORACLE(r) RDBMS (version The hardware configuration is Hewlett Packard workstations (models 715/50 and 712/80i with 4 X-terminals) with UNIX operating system (HP-UX Release A.10.20). The following files are included in the data set: benthic.e00, birds.e00, bio_lut.e00, biofile.e00, biores.e00, breed.e00, breed_dt.e00, esi.e00, fish.e00, fishl.e00, habitats.e00, hydro.e00, index.e00, invert.e00, invertl.e00, mgt.e00, m_mammal.e00, reptiles.e00, seasonal.e00, shelfbnd.e00, soc_dat.e00, soc_lut.e00, socecon.e00, sources.e00, species.e00, status.e00, t_mammal.e00, wetlands.e00.

Data Quality


The attribute accuracy is estimated to be "good" given the years of ESI experience, the data input methodology, the quality control review sessions, and the digital logical consistency checks.

Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

The biological data sets are developed primarily using regional experts who estimate concentration areas. Unlike shorelines, which maintain relative spatial stability through time, the biological data by nature vary in distribution across the landscape. Therefore, the 1:24,000 USGS quadrangles are used as a basemap in gathering the data but the data have "fuzzy" boundaries, which must be understood when utilizing this information.

Completeness Report:

Biological information presented in this atlas was collected and compiled with the assistance of biologists from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and various other agencies, organizations, and groups. Information collected and depicted on the maps denotes the key biological resources that are most likely at risk in the event of an oil spill. Seven major categories, or ELEMENTs, of biological resources were considered during data compilation: birds; fish; invertebrates; habitats; marine mammals; terrestrial mammals and reptiles. The ELEMENTs generally correspond to the coverage or geographic data layer names. There are also six attribute or data tables, BIORES, BREED, SEASONAL, SOURCES, SPECIES, and STATUS, that are used to store the complex biological data. The biological lines (FISHL) are linked to the Biological Resources table (BIORES) using the unique ID and the lookup table BIO_LUT, or they can be linked directly using RARNUM. [The ID is a unique combination of the atlas number (for Virgin Islands this is 67), an element specific number (birds are layer 1, fish are layer 2, etc.) and a unique record number. The RARNUM represents a unique combination of species, seasonalities, concentrations, and source information. For each of these groupings, a number is generated. That number is concatenated with the atlas number to create a "resource at risk" number that is unique across atlases.] The items in BIORES include: RARNUM, SPECIES_ID, CONC, SEASON_ID, G_SOURCE, S_SOURCE, ELEMENT, EL_SPE, and EL_SPE_SEA. SPECIES_ID is the numeric identifier of each species and is unique within each ELEMENT. CONC is the concentration of the species and can be descriptive (LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH, etc.) or an actual count of the number of individuals or nests associated with a polygon or point. SEASON_ID contains a numeric identifier for the unique monthly presence and life history characteristics of each species at a given location. There can be one seasonality record per species, or the same species can have different monthly presence or breeding activities at different sites. When this occurs, a new record with a different SEASON_ID is referenced. G_SOURCE contains the SOURCE_ID for geographic information, and S_SOURCE contains the SOURCE_ID for seasonality information. Both items link to the SOURCES data table. EL_SPE is a concatenation of ELEMENT and SPECIES_ID and links to the SPECIES and STATUS data tables. EL_SPE_SEA is a concatenation of ELEMENT, SPECIES_ID, and SEASON_ID and links to the SEASONAL and BREED data tables. The SPECIES data table contains the SPECIES_ID (described above), common name (NAME), scientific name (GEN_SPEC), biological element (ELEMENT), biological subelement (SUBELEMENT), Natural Heritage Program global conservation status rank (NHP), date the list of NHP ranks was published (DATE_PUB), and EL_SPE. The item SUBELEMENT refers to the grouping of the species: (ELEMENT, subelement): FISHL: diadromous. The STATUS data table contains records for each species that is threatened or endangered on state or federal lists. The items include: ELEMENT, SPECIES_ID, STATE (two-letter state abbreviation, populated with "VI" for U.S. Virgin Islands), S_F [state (USVI territority) or federal (U.S.) listing], T_E (threatened or endangered status), DATE_PUB (publication date of the source used to assign T or E status), and EL_SPE. The SEASONAL data table indicates the presence of a particular species in a particular location by month (JAN-DEC). The BIORES table is linked to the SEASONAL table using the item EL_SPE_SEA (a concatenation of the first letter of the ELEMENT, SPECIES_ID, and SEASON_ID). The BREED data table contains the life stage or life history data for each unique combination of ELEMENT, SPECIES_ID, and SEASON_ID (or EL_SPE_SEA). It contains up to 12 records corresponding to each month of the year that the species is present in that location. The items BREED1-BREED5 will reflect different life activities, depending on the ELEMENT referenced. For FISH, BREED1 = spawning, BREED2 = eggs, BREED3 = larvae, BREED4 = juveniles, and BREED5 = adults. The SOURCES data table contains metadata for each biological and human-use source listed in the ESI atlas. The items in SOURCES include: SOURCE_ID; ORIGINATOR (author); DATE_PUB (date of publication); TITLE (title of the data set); DATA_FORMAT (digital type, hardcopy maps, etc.); PUBLICATION (additional citation); SCALE (source scale denominator); and TIME_PERIOD (beginning and ending dates of original data collection). The SOURCES data table is linked to all biological data at the feature plus species-level and human-use data at the feature-level. Due to the complexity of the relational database model, the biological data items are also post-processed into a flat file format. This file is entitled BIOFILE and it may be used in place of the relational files to ease simple data queries. The items in the flat file are ELEMENT, SUBELEMENT, NAME, GEN_SPEC, S_F, T_E, NHP, DATE_PUB, CONC, JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP, OCT, NOV, DEC, BREED1, BREED2, BREED3, BREED4, BREED5, RARNUM, G_SOURCE, S_SOURCE, and BREED. All of these items are the same as their counterparts in the individual files described above, except the BREED1-BREED5 items. BREED is a newly generated variable used to link to the BREED_DT file, a modified, more compact version of the aforementioned BREED file. BREED1-BREED5 give a text summary of when each life stage occurs within that polygon. The life stages referred to are the same as those listed in the previous table. The link to the BIOFILE may be made through BIO_LUT using ID to link to RARNUM, or it may be linked directly to the RARNUM in each of the biology cover's attribute files. As mentioned, BREED_DT is an auxiliary support file to the flat file structure, which allows the user to do searches based on month for seasonal breeding activities. The link from the flat file to BREED_DT is the BREED item. A second supporting data file is SOURCES. This is the same as the source file described above, and the link from the flat file is both G_SOURCE and S_SOURCE. It should be noted that although the flat file eases data query, it is not a normalized database structure, and actual updates performed by the states and other responsible agencies should be done using the relational files.

Conceptual Consistency:

The digitization of shoreline types, biological resources, and human-use resources is a complex and highly quality-controlled process. Existing digital shoreline and wetlands data are integrated into a study-wide basemap. To facilitate digitizing, the entire study area is split into quadrangles using the INDEX data layer. The first layer digitized is the ESI shoreline classification. The ESI habitat ranking is compiled onto 1:24,000 USGS topographic quadrangles by a geomorphologist. The hardcopy maps are then digitized and checked, using on-screen and hardcopy reviews. The edited maps are updated and checked again for completeness and topological and logical consistency. Any errors in the shoreline classification are updated prior to digitizing the biological reference so there are no slivers in the geographic coordinates. The hardcopy biological information is compiled onto 1:24,000 USGS topographic quadrangles by a biological expert using data from regional specialists in the form of maps, tables, charts, written descriptions of wildlife distributions, and personal interviews. Concurrently, digital data sources are imported, projected, checked for quality control, and integrated into the data structure. The hardcopy data are digitized, checked using both digital and on-screen procedures, integrated with existing data, plotted, and sent out for review by regional specialists. The edited maps are updated, checked once again, and the final product plotted at approximately 1:55,000 scale. A team of specialists reviews the entire series of maps, checks all data, and makes final edits. The data are then merged to form the study-wide layers. The data merging includes final quality control where labels, chains, and polygons are checked for attribute accuracy. To finalize the process, each data layer is checked using a standardized form by two GIS personnel (a technician and the GIS manager), and each attribute database is checked using several programs that test the files for missing or duplicate data, rules for proper coding, GIS topological consistencies (dangles, unnecessary nodes, etc.), and ORACLE (r) and ARC/INFO (r) consistencies. A final review is made by the GIS manager, where the data are written to CD-ROM and the metadata are written. After the data are delivered to NOAA, they are again subjected to a number of quality and consistency checks. In the process of checking for topological and database consistencies, new IDs and RARNUMs or HUNUMs are also generated. The new IDs combine atlas number, element number, and record number. In addition, the value used to represent the element is modified to reflect the type of feature being mapped. In the case of an element normally represented by a point or polygon, a value of 20 is added to the standard element value for mapping of linear features. In the case where an element usually mapped as a polygon is represented by a point, a value of 30 is added to the regular element value. The RARNUMs are also modified to include the atlas number, so multiple atlases can be combined and RARNUMs remain unique. RARNUMs are redefined on an element basis, so "resource at risk" groupings will contain only a single element. HUNUMs are also modified to include the atlas number. ESI data are processed into multiple formats to make them useful to a wider community of GIS/mapping users. Distribution formats include ARC export, MOSS and Shape files, and MARPLOT map folders. An ArcView ESI project and ESI_Viewer product are also included on the CDs for ease of use of the ESI data. The database files are distributed both in the NOAA standard relational database format (see NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS ORCA 115) and in a simplified desktop flat file format. This metadata document includes information on both of these database formats. The section Spatial_Data_Organization_Information refers to the source files in ARC export format only.



Native Stream Fish and Shrimp Distribution, Seasonality, and Life-History

CC ID: 605381
Contact Name: Yoshioka, B., United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 1999
Source Contribution:

Fish arc data | Source Geospatial Form: Expert knowledge | Type of Source Media: Personal communication

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 605382

All the digital data were checked using both digital and on-screen procedures, plotted, checked by the biological expert, edited to remove any errors, and plotted for review by the regional specialists. The reviewed maps were updated on the computer, checked once again, and plotted at final map scale. A team of specialists reviewed the entire series of maps, checked all data, and made final edits. The data were merged to form the study-wide layers that are described in the document. The data merging included a final quality control check where topological consistency, rules for geography, and database to geography were checked and validated for all relationships.

Process Date/Time: 2001-08-01 00:00:00

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title
Entity Complete Chain

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 40580
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:40580
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 14:52+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2019-06-04 13:14+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2018-02-08
Owner Org: ORR
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Next Review Date: 2019-02-09