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The Data Portal

The Southeast Fisheries Science Center, along with other governmental, academic, and private partners, has been conducting a visual survey of reef fish species in the Florida Keys since 1978. This survey has since been expanded to include the Dry Tortugas and Southeast Florida Region. All the data from this survey collected since 1999 is now available as spreadsheet files for general use as part of this data portal. To learn more about the history, sampling design, and statistical design of the survey, please read Smith et al. 2011 .

Available Data

  1. Sample Data
    Diver sampled data, including: species counts, lengths (in cm), and geographic data, such as latitude and longitude in decimal degrees.
  2. Stratum Data
    Information on the number of primary sample units per stratum (NTOT), for each year and region, as well as the length to a side for primary sample units in each stratum (GRID_SIZE).
  3. Taxonomic Data
    Taxonomic and life history data for species observed in the Reef Visual Census. Includes scientific and common names for species observed, as well as the species code (first three letters of the generic name, and first four letters of the specific name). Also includes life history data for select species: LM - median length at maturity, LC - minimum length at capture, WLEN_A - linear coefficient of the allometric growth equation in g/mm, WLEN_B - exponential coefficient of the allometric growth equation.
  4. Benthic Data
    Benthic data collected during reef visual census, including information on coral cover and hard/soft vertical relief.

RVC Data R package

The Southeast Fisheries Science center has produced an R package to help with accessing and analyzing Reef Visual Census Data. It can be accessed at its Github page, here. It can be used to import RVC data into R, and produce commonly used summary statistics such as density, abundance, and biomass.