Monitoring, health report and effectiveness of marine reserves

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In 2011, 2 studies were carried out by the Aquarium in collaboration with the Université de Nouvelle Calédonie: establishment of baseline data on the condition of 5-mile Reef, and monitoring of the health of coral reefs in New Caledonia. The results will be published during the course of 2012. During the field work at 5-mile Reef, the technician in charge began a course of training in diving techniques for gathering samples of seabed and fauna.

The most reliable technique for describing the environments is known as Line Intercept Transect. It consists of collecting seabed samples along a pre-set line every 50 m, and calculating from these the proportions of the different types over the area concerned. The technique is sufficiently simple and robust that it can be used by volunteers, while yielding data useable by the scientists.