Consistent, systematic monitoring of spawning aggregations is necessary for measuring success, and determining whether current management approaches are effective. This section introduces indicators that can be used to measure the status of an FSA and the effect of management actions. Examples of monitoring methods and tools are also provided.
A number of different monitoring protocols have been published. To develop a detailed plan for monitoring, refer to SCRFA's Manual for the Study and Conservation of Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations, and to the specific protocols listed on the References page.
The following key actions should be considered when developing a monitoring program:
- Determine information gaps and where conservation strategies could be better informed by science.
- Match monitoring methods to available funds, capacity, and time.
- Understand that the accuracy and statistical power of a monitoring study will be directly proportional to the effort and the methods employed.
- Prioritize the data needs with respect to the available resources.
- Use consistent methods similar throughout all FSA assessments, and store and organize the information in a central database that can be understood, and accessed, by future resource managers.