Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) protects marine life through education, service, and research. REEF facilitates programs that actively engage divers, snorkelers, and other marine enthusiasts in marine conservation. This is primarily accomplished through the Volunteer Fish Survey Project. The survey methodology was developed with support from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and guidance from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
During RDT surveys, divers and snorkelers swim freely throughout a site and record every observed fish species that can be positively identified. Species and approximate abundance scores are recorded on an underwater slate. The search for fishes begins as soon as the diver or snorkeler enters the water. The goal is to find as many species as possible, so divers are encouraged to look under ledges and up in the water column. Sea turtle species are also reported. More about the Sea Turtle Program.
Each recorded species is assigned one of four abundance categories based on about how many were seen throughout the dive [Single (1); Few (2-10), Many (11-100), and Abundant (>100)].
Snorkelers and freedivers are valuable assets and can also conduct surveys. You do not have to be a scuba diver to conduct REEF surveys and collect important data.
Following the dive, each surveyor transfers the information about their survey dive, including survey time, depth, temperature, and other environmental information, along with the species sightings data, to the REEF database. A separate survey submission is done for each dive.
REEF surveys are conducted as part of a diver or snorkeler's regular activities - anytime they are in the water - and can be conducted in any of REEF's project areas. IORS includes IORS; Bay of Bengal, Maldives, Red Sea, East Coast of Africa, Madagascar, and Indian Ocean Islands.
Requires an 80% on the Level 2 Quiz and the completion of two surveys. There are 20-25 questions on this quiz. Most members taking the PADI Project Aware Fish ID Specialty course. In addition, surveyors should complete 2 surveys (these can be done before or after taking the test). Novice Level.
To arrange to take an Experience Level test by contacting EcoPro Training Center as REEF Conservation Partner in the IORS region.
You must have submitted 25, 35, or 50 surveys to the database before taking the level 3, 4, or 5 tests respectively.
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