Skip to main content

Free Content Comparative Accuracies of Visual Assessment Methods for Coral Reef Fishes

Download Article:
(PDF 791 kb)


Four methods of visually assessing reef fish assemblages were compared in “The Living Seas” at Walt Disney World, EPCOT Center. An accurate “standard of reference” (proportionate abundance of 44 species) was provided by approximately 43 man-hours of repetitive sampling of small groups (1–6) of species. Twenty 5-min censuses were obtained by (1) a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), (2) a SCUBA diver recording observations on a plastic slate (Slate), (3) a diver using an underwater tape recorder (Audiotape), and (4) a diver using a video camera (Cinetransect). The methods were evaluated and compared on the basis of their ability to accurately estimate the relative abundances and rank orders of pools of 44 and 31 species. The relative efficiencies of the four methods were also compared. Here, efficiency was defined as the amount of time necessary to achieve a stabilized picture of assemblage structure. Of the four methods tested, the Audiotape was the most accurate and efficient in estimates of proportionate abundance. Species rankings (based on abundance) produced by all methods were highly correlated. Unexpectedly, a variation of the basic method used to determine the reference standard was found to be far more accurate, for about the same amount of sampling effort, than any of the methods tested. This method, herein called Discrete Group Censusing, is based on sampling only a few community members at a time, and combining these data into an overall picture of assemblage structure.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1989

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more