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Projects

Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Project

We are monitoring the distribution, abundance, and size of reef fishes and macro-invertebrates and mapping habitats in the Caribbean. The work from this long-term project will help coastal managers understand ...
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Characterizing Fish and Invertebrates of the Shall...

We characterized the coral and fish communities on the sanctuary’s shallow reefs based on data collected in 2006 and 2007. We focused on two management goals: 1) to develop a ...
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Impact Assessments and Management Strategies for I...

We are conducting biological and ecological assessments of invasive lionfish to determine their impact on reef habitats and economies of the Atlantic. Our work includes interpreting the results of existing ...
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Land and Sea Characterization of St. Croix East En...

Established in 2003, St. Croix East End Marine Park was the first multi-use marine park in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The park’s ecosystem and the threats to that ecosystem are ...
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Lionfish Control in the National Marine Sanctuarie...

The invasive lionfish is one of the most dominant top predators of reef communities in the temperate and tropical Atlantic Ocean. Lionfish are reducing native reef fish and marine invertebrate ...
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New Tools to Aid in Managing Ciguatera Poisoning R...

Ciguatera fish poisoning is the most frequently reported non-bacterial illness associated with eating fish in the United States and the U. S. territorial islands. Ciguatera significantly impacts commercial and recreational ...
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Research to Support Management of the Flower Garde...

We conducted an assessment of biological resources in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, to serve as the basis for future sanctuary management decisions. This baseline assessment will also ...
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The Role of Temperature and Depth in Fish Communit...

We examined the relationship between water temperature, depth, and invasive lionfish and native fish communities, off the coast of North Carolina. By understanding how present conditions influence lionfish and native ...
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Understanding Coral Ecosystem Connectivity in the ...

We investigated the role that the mesophotic coral ecosystems of Pulley Ridge (off the southwest coast of Florida) played in replenishing key coral, sponge, algal, and fish species in the ...
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News

Determining Ciguatera Risk in Invasive Lionfish

The lionfish is invasive to the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. Credit: NOAA Scientists are investigating the prevalence of ciguatera toxins in invasive lionfish in response to interest in ...
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Lionfish Prefer to Eat Local

In recent years, Indo-Pacific lionfish have been found in coral reefs throughout the southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. Credit: NOAA Invasive lionfish are generalist, opportunistic predators, meaning they ...
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NCCOS Research Highlighted at Ocean Sciences Meeti...

NCCOS research featured prominently at last month's Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, Oregon. The biennial conference promotes scientific exchanges across a broad spectrum of marine science disciplines, as well as ...
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Assessment of Florida’s Mesophotic Coral Ree...

A multi-institutional team of scientists funded by NCCOS has published an assessment of the mesophotic coral reefs (75–270 feet deep) located roughly 150 miles off of Florida’s southwest coast. The ...
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Student Scholars Conduct Research with NCCOS Mento...

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) promotes the educational and professional advancement of students and early-career scientists/scholars (e.g., postdoctoral) in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through mentoring ...
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NOAA Improves Monitoring of Ciguatera in Fish

NCCOS and their partners have developed a new method for detecting ciguatoxins in fish that does not rely on the typical use of radioisotopes, which are highly regulated and often ...
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NCCOS Hollings Scholar Wins Best Presentation Awar...

Emily Wallingford, a rising senior at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and a 2015 Hollings Scholar at NOAA's Beaufort Laboratory, won the best oral presentation award at the 2015 ...
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Association of Marine Lab Conference Features Cari...

To raise awareness about a resurgence of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) in the Caribbean and the current state of ciguatera research, NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) led ...
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New Recruits Comprise most of Coral Area Found in ...

A completed analysis from the 2014 expedition to Pulley Ridge based on remotely operated vehicle (ROV) observations revealed significant areas of new coral growth. The findings were compiled from a ...
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Pulley Ridge Corals Show Potential Signs of Recove...

An NCCOS-funded study has produced a detailed characterization of the deep (60–80 meters), mesophotic reefs and fish populations of Pulley Ridge, located off the southwest coast of Florida. While the ...
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Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

Invasive lionfish are changing marine habitats in the Western Atlantic and our understanding of invasive species. Learn how communities at the center of the invasion are using science, food, art and culture to help stop these invaders in their tracks.
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Data & Publications

An integrated assessment of the introduction of lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles complex) to the western Atlantic Ocean

Lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles complex) are venomous coral reef fishes from the Indian and western Pacific oceans that are now found in the western Atlantic Ocean. Adult lionfish have been observed from Miami, Florida to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and juvenile ...
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Biogeographic characterization of fish and benthic communities, St Croix, US Virgin Islands 2010-10-18 to 2011-11-10 (NODC Accession 0125270)

The intent of this work is five fold: 1) To spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates (conch, lobster, Diadema); 2) To relate this information to in-situ data collected on associated benthic ...
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Biogeographic characterization of fish and benthic communities, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands 2012-06-12 to 2012-06-22 (NODC Accession 0125418)

This fish and benthic composition database is the result of a multifaceted effort described below. The intent of this work is five fold: 1) To spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates ...
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Biological and physical geospatial data from St. Croix East End Marine Park, U.S. Virgin Islands from 6 Feb 2001 to 18 May 2012 (NODC Accession 0118500)

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment, Biogeography Branch (CCMA-BB) worked with partners to assess and characterize the marine environment in and around the St. Croix East End Marine Park. The Park was ...
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Biology, Ecology, Control and Management of the Invasive Indo-Pacific Lionfish: An Updated Integrated Assessment

Venomous Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois miles and P. volitans) are now established along the Southeast U.S.A. and parts of the Caribbean and pose a serious threat to reef fish communities of these regions. Lionfish are likely to invade the Gulf of ...
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Fish assemblages associated with red grouper pits at Pulley Ridge, a mesophotic reef in the Gulf of Mexico

Red grouper (Epinephelus morio) modify their habitat by excavating sediment to expose rocky pits, providing structurally complex habitat for many fish species. Surveys conducted with remotely operated vehicles from 2012 through 2015 were used to characterize fish assemblages associated with ...
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Genetic homogeneity of the invasive lionfish across the Northwestern Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico based on Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms

Despite the devastating impact of the lionfish (Pterois volitans) invasion on NW Atlantic ecosystems, little genetic information about the invasion process is available. We applied Genotyping by Sequencing techniques to identify 1,220 single nucleotide polymorphic sites (SNPs) from 162 lionfish ...
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Intersex in male invasive Atlantic lionfish, Pterois spp

Intersex in gonochoristic species is a reproductive abnormality in which an individual produces gametes of the type normally associated with the opposite sex. To investigate the prevalence of intersex in male lionfish Pterois spp., 884 individuals were collected from the ...
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Recommendations on the Use of Ecosystem Modeling for Informing Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management and Restoration Outcomes in the Gulf of Mexico

Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) and ecosystem restoration are gaining momentum worldwide, including in U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Ecosystem models are valuable tools for informing EBFM and restoration activities. In this paper, we provide guidance and a ...
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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources, in direct support of NOS priorities, offices, and customers, and to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

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