National Park Service

Pacific Island Network (PACN)

Marine Fish Monitoring

Reef fish at Kaloko-Honokōhau NHP
Reef fish at Kaloko-Honokōhau NHP

Features & Briefs

Monitoring Reports

Monitoring Protocol

For more information contact: Sheila McKenna

Description & Rationale

Video: Swimming Long Into the Future - Marine Fish

Fish are a major component of coral reef ecosystems. This highly diverse assemblage of carnivores, planktivores, herbivores, and detritovores serves a variety of ecological functions. Fish affect ecosystem structure, productivity, and sustainability. Selected species can act as indicators of general reef health, environmental stress, and potential ecosystem changes.

Fishing is increasingly recognized as a principal threat to Pacific Ocean coral reefs and other marine ecosystems worldwide. In this respect, it is highly probable that most of the Pacific island national parks can be categorized as "impaired" to "seriously impaired" in terms of their fish communities. While the harvest of fish and other marine creatures will be addressed in a separate (fisheries-dependent) monitoring protocol, data collected through marine fish monitoring contributes to the overall fish analyses by providing an in-water (fisheries-independent) assessment of the size and abundance of species within the park waters of Kaloko-Honokōhau NHP, Kalaupapa NHP, NP of American Samoa, and War in the Pacific NHP.

Monitoring Objective

Annually determine the density and biomass of the reef fish assemblage at selected sites along an isobath of 10–20 m depth.

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Last Updated: May 15, 2017 Contact Webmaster