About Reef Life Survey International

RLS partners with researchers and keen volunteers from around the world, breaking down scientific and international barriers with standardized survey methods and a shared interest in collecting comprehensive reef community data.

Our Recent Articles:

MarineGEO in British Columbia

This summer the Smithsonian’s MarineGEO program along with the Hakai Institute conducted a marine BioBlitz survey in the coastal waters of British Columbia. Over 40 researchers from a dozen institutions spent three weeks participating in collections, processing of...

Belize – October 2016

The collaboration between RLS and the Smithsonian Institution was further strengthened during the second-annual monitoring of reefs at the Belize MarineGEO site.   Rick joined Smithsonian RLS divers Ross Whippo, Scott Jones, Zach Foltz, and Janina Seemann as they...

A Rare Experience Surveying Easter Island

Mention “Easter Island”, and for most Australians visions of giant stone statues ‘moai’, surf and volcanoes spring to mind. But it is the warm 24°C water and 50m visibility that makes Easter Island a pleasure to visit. Easter Island is the most isolated inhabited...

Surveying Southern Chile

At the end of the Chilean summer keen Reef Life Survey (RLS) divers undertook surveys at Pargüa and Calbuco, in the inner sea near Puerto Montt and the remote Chiloe Island. Dives ranged from 3 to 24 metres and although the water reached low temperatures (11 degrees),...

RLS Spain Surveys the Balearic Archipelago

¡New Adventures of RLS Spain! Some of the Spanish RLS team undertook a survey cruise in the Balearic Islands (Mediterranean Sea) in October, aboard the sailing catamaran GOA3. Six RLS divers worked hard over ten days of intense diving to survey twenty-three new sites...

RLS Spain Gets Airborne

RLS Spain has really taken off
….and in more ways than one. Reporting 300 completed surveys, with at least two replicates per site, the Spain group has also expanded their efforts to areas off Northern Africa, Portugal and the Canary Islands.

Reef Life Survey in Nicaragua

(FFI) have started RLS in Nicaragua, gathering a team of recreational divers and FFI staff for training in RLS methods during a 12 day field campaign on the Pacific coast in March. German Soler and Rick were there to train an incredibly keen (and very humorous) local crew, initiated by FFI’s Chelsea Combest-Friedman and supported by Oceans 5. Eleven volunteers, including seven divers, were trained and 22 sites added to SE Nicaragua.

RLS Spain

The Spanish RLS team has really started to take off, following two more training courses adding divers from the south and north of mainland Spain to those previously trained in the Canary Islands. Mikel Beccero, with the capable and enthusiastic assistance of José Fernandez, had quietly been busy preparing for a Spanish RLS blitz, and invited Rick over in June to train teams in RLS courses in Blanes and Vigo.

Smithsonian’s MarineGEO Partners with RLS

How much biodiversity do coastal seas hold now, how is it changing, and why is that important to us? The Smithsonian’s Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO) is tackling these questions by implementing the first long-term, worldwide research effort that focuses on the land-sea interface and the role coastal marine life plays in maintaining resilient ecosystems around the world.

Reef Life Survey Data – Now Available

The Reef Life Survey global reef fish dataset that was used for the recent Nature publications

Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features and Integrating abundance and functional traits reveals new global hotspots of fish diversity , is now published in a new data journal called Scientific Data, published by the Nature Publishing Group. The dataset itself can be accessed in csv format here.

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