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Study Demonstrates Long-term Recovery of U.S. Virgin Islands Reef Fish Species from Hurricane Impacts to Enhance Resource Management

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and University of Hawaii – Hilo have published a report on long-term trends in reef fish assemblages around St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), the result of an ongoing collaboration between NCCOS and U.S. National Park Service (NPS) to monitor the status of reef fishes and benthic habitats in support of natural resource management. Major study results include: 1) reef fish assemblages within Virgin Islands National Park are not significantly different from assemblages outside park boundaries, and 2) several species, including some of the most abundant ones, have significantly declined in abundance and frequency of occurrence over the past decade, and 3) some species have a longer recovery period from hurricane impacts than others.  A pdf version of the report, “Temporal Trends in Reef Fish Assemblages Inside Virgin Islands National Park and Around St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, 1988-2006” is available at http://www.ccma.nos.noaa.gov/publications/VITempTrends.pdf.

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Shorter web link for sharing: http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=1335

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