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Item Identification

Title: Reef Visual Census (RVC) Fish Survey Protocol for Atlantic, U.S. Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico
Short Name: 2016 RVC Protocols
Revision Date: 2016-05-19
Publication Date: 2016

The National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) is a broad-spatial snapshot for reef condition (i.e., fish species composition/density/size, benthic cover, and coral density/size/condition) to provide context for local-scale studies of tropical reef ecosystems. Data collection will occur at stratified random sites where the sampling domain for each region (e.g., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), Flower Garden Banks and Florida) is partitioned by habitat type and depth, sub-regional location (e.g., along-shelf position) and management zone. NCRMP is intended to supplement local monitoring efforts by providing large-scale data on reef fishes and the benthos.

NCRMP fish surveys conducted in the US Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico region (Puerto Rico, USVI, Flower Garden Banks) have traditionally used the Belt Transect method. In the Pacific and Florida regions, fish surveys are conducted using the Reef Visual Census (RVC) method. To standardize fish data collection methods and for comparison purposes, all jurisdictions will be using the RVC method for conducting fish surveys beginning in 2016. This protocol will describe fish surveys conducted in the U.S. reefs in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

The 2016 RVC protocols for Puerto Rico have substantial differences than previous versions (years) as a result of NCRMP standardization throughout the project's regions (e.g. Florida and Pacific regions). Specific differences in methodologies between regions, where applicable, are noted within the protocols


To describe the sampling designs used to monitor coral reefs and associated biological communities around Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands (USVI) and the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) as part of NCRMP that were done for 2016

Physical Location

Organization: National Centers for Environmental Information - Silver Spring, Maryland
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD

Document Information

Document Type: Documentation
Format: Acrobat Portable Document Format
Status Code: Published

Support Roles


CC ID: 1264833
Date Effective From: 2021
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): National Centers for Environmental Information - Silver Spring, Maryland (NCEI-MD)
Address: NOAA/NESDIS E/OC SSMC3, 4th Floor, 1351 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282
Phone: (301) 713-3277

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 1264834
Start Date: 2021
End Date: Present
Download URL:
Distributor: National Centers for Environmental Information - Silver Spring, Maryland (NCEI-MD) (2021 - Present)
File Name: NCRMP_CaribGOM_Protocol_Fish_RVC_2016.pdf
File Date/Time: 2021-01-13 17:24:00
File Type (Deprecated): PDF
Distribution Format: PDF - Adobe Portable Document Format
File Size: 1.1M

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 70455
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:70455
Metadata Record Created By: Lee M Weinberger
Metadata Record Created: 2023-08-13 12:00+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-10-17 16:12+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2023-08-14
Owner Org: SEFSC
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year