CRED Towed-Diver Fish Biomass Survey at Jarvis, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2010

Metadata Updated: February 27, 2019

To support NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) long-term goals for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, towed-diver surveys (AKA towboard surveys) are conducted by the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED) of the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) as part of Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP) Cruises. 10 towboard surveys (totaling 16.99 km in length) were conducted at Jarvis in Pacific Remote Island Areas from 2010-01-21 to 2010-04-24 as part of RAMP Cruise HA1001. Towboard surveys are a good method for obtaining a general description of large reef areas, assessing the status of low-density populations of large-bodied reef fish, large-scale disturbances (e.g., bleaching), general distribution and abundance patterns of macro-invertebrates (e.g., crown of thorns sea stars, giant clams), and for assessing trends in these populations and metrics. A pair of scuba divers (1 fish diver and 1 benthic diver) are towed 60 m behind a small survey launch at a speed of 1-2 knots and a depth of approximately 15 m. Each survey is 50 min long, covers about 2 km of habitat, and is divided into ten 5-minute survey segments. The fish diver records, to the lowest possible taxon, all large-bodied reef fishes (greater than 50 cm total length) seen within 5 m either side and 10 m in front of the towboard. Length of each individual is estimated to the nearest cm. The fish towboard is also outfitted with a forward-facing digital video camera to record the survey swath. The benthic diver records percent cover of coral and macroalgae, estimates benthic habitat type and complexity, and censuses a suite of benthic macroinvertebrates including crown of thorns sea stars and sea urchins. The benthic towboard is equipped with a downward-facing digital still camera which images the benthos at 15-second intervals. These images are analyzed for percent cover of coral, algae, and other benthic components. Both towboards are equipped with SEABIRD SBE-39 temperature/depth sensors set to record at 5-second intervals. Latitude and longitude of each survey track is recorded at 15-second intervals using a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver onboard the tow boat. A layback algorithm is applied to more accurately map the position of the divers with respect to the reef environment. This algorithm calculates the position of the divers based on the position of the tow boat taking into account the length of the tow rope, the depth of the divers, and the curvature of the survey track. This metadata applies to the fish biomass observations.

Access & Use Information

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Date June 20, 2018
Metadata Created Date February 7, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 27, 2019
Reference Date(s) December 20, 2010 (publication)
Frequency Of Update ASNEEDED

Metadata Source

Harvested from NOAA CSW Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date June 20, 2018
Metadata Created Date February 7, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 27, 2019
Reference Date(s) December 20, 2010 (publication)
Responsible Party Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Access Constraints Use Constraints: Please cite CRED when using data. Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Access Constraints: None
Bbox East Long -159.9715377
Bbox North Lat -0.36127697
Bbox South Lat -0.38293162
Bbox West Long -160.0159695
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update ASNEEDED
Harvest Object Id b4287a63-ed7c-40a8-8570-c1b123fc41ca
Harvest Source Id 2aed8e29-fc5b-4cde-aa66-fb1118fd705e
Harvest Source Title NOAA CSW Harvest Source
Licence 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.
Metadata Language
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 2010-04-01
Temporal Extent End 2010-04-02

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.