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Coral reef fish biomass and benthic cover data from Timor-Leste in June 2013

Metadata Updated: September 22, 2023

Coral reef fish and benthos were surveyed at 150 shallow-water coral reef sites across the north coast of Timor-Leste and around Atauro Island in June 2013 during a 21-day survey mission. This project was conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) using consistent methods, survey design, and personnel.

Fish biomass and benthic cover were estimated at all survey sites using the stationary point count (SPC) method. The SPC method catalogs the diversity (species richness), abundance (numeric density) and biomass (fish mass per unit area) of diurnally active reef fish assemblages in shallow-water (less than 30 m) hard-bottom habitats. Visual estimates of benthic cover and topographic complexity are also recorded, with benthic organisms grouped into broad functional categories (e.g., 'Hard Coral', 'Macroalgae'). A stratified random sampling (StRS) design was employed, similar to surveys conducted by NOAA CREP of the coral reef ecosystems throughout the U.S.-Pacific regions.

The goal of the survey work was to generate baseline data on the nearshore coral reef fish assemblages and associated benthic communities around Timor-Leste's north coast and Atauro Island. Surveys were concentrated around these areas due to (1) limited time and resources, but also (2) low water visibility and safety concerns for potential dive survey operations along the south shore. In addition to the visual observations of reef fish and the associated benthos, photographs of the seafloor were taken using a photoquadrat method and were later analyzed for benthic cover. These two additional datasets are documented separately.

The reef fish and benthic estimate data collected during the 2013 mission in Timor-Leste can be accessed online via the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) Ocean Archive.

Access & Use Information

License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Date May 30, 2023
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date September 22, 2023
Reference Date(s) 2015 (publication)
Frequency Of Update notPlanned

Metadata Source

Harvested from NMFS PIFSC

Graphic Preview

Diver counting coral reef fishes using the SPC method.

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date May 30, 2023
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date September 22, 2023
Reference Date(s) 2015 (publication)
Responsible Party (Point of Contact, Custodian)
Contact Email
Guid gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:32998
Access Constraints Cite As: Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, [Date of Access]: Coral reef fish biomass and benthic cover data from Timor-Leste in June 2013 [Data Date Range],, Access Constraints: None | Use Constraints: Please cite NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) and acknowledge the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Timor-Leste when using the data. Suggested citation: Coral Reef Ecosystem Program; Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (2017). Coral reef fish biomass and benthic cover data from Timor-Leste in June 2013. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. | Distribution Liability: While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
Bbox East Long 127.5
Bbox North Lat -8.1
Bbox South Lat -9.4
Bbox West Long 124
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update notPlanned
Graphic Preview Description Diver counting coral reef fishes using the SPC method.
Graphic Preview File
Graphic Preview Type JPG
Harvest Object Id 66f98753-b6db-4d0f-ae33-5c6b21811ec4
Harvest Source Id c0beac72-5f43-4455-8c33-1b345fbc2dfe
Harvest Source Title NMFS PIFSC
Licence NOAA provides no warranty, nor accepts any liability occurring from any incomplete, incorrect, or misleading data, or from any incorrect, incomplete, or misleading use of the data. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether or not the data is suitable for the intended purpose.
Lineage All sites were surveyed using CREP's standard coral reef fish assemblage survey method, stationary point counts (SPC). The current SPC protocol involves pairs of divers recording the number, size, and species of all fishes observed within visually estimated cylinders 15 m in diameter. At the start of a survey dive, a pair of divers first lay down a 30-m transect line along a predetermined depth contour, and then the two divers move to the 7.5- and 22.5-m marks on that line; these marks serve as the centers of two adjacent SPC cylinders. During the first 5 min of a survey, the divers create a list of the fish species observed in or passing through their cylinder. After the first 5 min, divers systematically proceed down their species lists, counting and estimating the size (TL) of each fish present to the nearest centimeter. Species seen after the 5 min or outside of the survey area are recorded as present.
Metadata Language eng
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [[[124.0, -9.4], [127.5, -9.4], [127.5, -8.1], [124.0, -8.1], [124.0, -9.4]]]}
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 2013-06-04
Temporal Extent End 2013-06-27

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