Slide Menu
Search Help Show/Hide Menu

Item Identification

Title: Reef Visual Census (RVC) Fish Survey Protocol for the Atlantic Region: US Caribbean, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico: 2018
Revision Date: 2018-05-01

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 (FGB) and Florida) is partitioned by habitat type and depth, sub-regional location (e.g., along-shelf position) and management zone. NCRMP will provide broader geographic context to supplement local monitoring efforts and studies of tropical reef ecosystems.

NCRMP fish surveys conducted in the Pacific and Florida regions are conducted using the Reef Visual Census (RVC) point count method (Brandt et al., 2009) while the US Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico region (Puerto Rico, USVI, FGB) have traditionally used the belt transect 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. The 2017 RVC protocols for USVI had 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. This protocol will describe fish surveys conducted in the U.S. reefs in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Florida for 2018.


The goal of the fish community surveys is to collect and report information on species composition, density, size, abundance, and derived metrics (e.g., species richness, diversity) using the RVC method in a stratified random sampling design on hardbottom and coral reef habitats in the U.S. coral reef jurisdictions. While all jurisdictions will use the RVC method, light adjustments must be made in order to account for regional implementation nuances. This protocol may be refined in subsequent years.

Document Information

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

Support Roles


CC ID: 1274422
Date Effective From: 2020
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: 1274423
Start Date: 2020
End Date: Present
Download URL:
Distributor: National Centers for Environmental Information - Silver Spring, Maryland (NCEI-MD) (2020 - Present)
File Name: NCRMP_RVC_Protocol_2018.pdf
File Date/Time: 2019-10-04 11:27:00
File Type (Deprecated): PDF
Distribution Format: PDF - Adobe Portable Document Format
File Size: 1.7M
Compression: Uncompressed
Review Status: Chked Viruses Inapp Content

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 70922
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:70922
Metadata Record Created By: Lee M Weinberger
Metadata Record Created: 2023-09-26 14:51+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-10-17 16:12+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2023-09-26
Owner Org: SEFSC
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2023-08-20
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2024-08-20