Generally, monitoring protocols can be classified into two groups: (1) baseline assessments and (2) long-term monitoring. A baseline assessment provides an essential foundation for any monitoring program, and will provide valuable information with which future data can be compared.
Baseline assessments should include:
- A definition of key features of aggregations, including species identification, location, and timing of the aggregation.
- A study of the relative importance of local spawning aggregations to fisheries and local economies.
- A survey of uses, and threats, to the FSA, and information on stakeholders who are dependent on the FSA.
- A survey of the human capacity available for monitoring, management and enforcement.
It should be noted that because of the variability inherent in marine populations, a baseline assessment that is completed at a single point in time may not provide sufficient information. Baseline assessments should be designed to capture seasonal and spatial variability, when possible.
Introduction to monitoring of spawning aggregations of three grouper species in the Indo-Pacific: A manual for field practitioners (Pet et al. 2006) (download pdf, 3,812k)