Fish surveys are to be undertaken with a focus on a few key objectives. These include:
Video surveys allow us to collect data on all fish species seen in the KMPA, instead of only focusing on a select group of species. It also means that we can survey larger areas of the Marine Protected Area as it is quicker than other underwater count methods. Video footage can also be used to get information on the type of substrate along the transects for further analysis. These fish surveys are undertaken four times a year at four locations – deep and shallow transects within the KMPA and deep and shallow transects just outside in a buffer zone. Completing transects inside the KMPA and buffer zones means we can get data about the fish populations inside our Marine Protected Area and compare that to areas outside of the KMPA to test how successful protected areas are in contributing to local fish populations.
Kwanini is also hoping to undertake sizing analysis of the surveyed fish. At present, we don’t have the equipment available to do this, but if we are able to obtain the necessary equipment this would allow Kwanini to gather important data about fish recruitment and biomass within the KMPA.As part of our wider monitoring programme, the fish surveys are designed to coincide with the Kwanini’s Foundation coral monitoring. Invertebrate surveys, focusing on species that eat coral such as crown of thorns starfish, are also undertaken at the same time as the fish surveys by a second diver.