A systematic approach to finding and documenting fish aggregations in a region is essential. Most aggregations are initially documented by biologists or divers as a result of information provided by fishers. SCRFA has developed a series of guidelines and a survey framework that can be applied and adapted to a wide range of situations.
To help with designing fisher surveys, we have developed Fisher Survey Interview Guidelines
To date, SCRFA has undertaken field surveys by interviews in fishing communities and with fisheries officers, dive operators, as well as literature reviews in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Palau, Fiji, eastern Malaysia and eastern Indonesia. The information has been entered into the SCRFA Fish Aggregation Database, providing an easy reference source not only on aggregations, but also on the general biology of aggregating species, as well as on attitudes and opinions about fishery management. We have also produced several Species Accounts on aggregating fishes.
Our various Country Case Studies revealed hundreds of potential spawning aggregation sites. We are now working to validate some of these by conducting underwater visual census surveys at the times and places indicated by interviews.
For all aspects of studying spawning aggregatons, please use our Methods Manual.