Request for summary data – Western Indian Ocean GCRMN regional report 2016

The Western Indian Ocean is in the process of compiling its regional report for the GCRMN, following in the footsteps of the Caribbean. This is to call for all contributions of monitoring data that you may have, to contribute to this reporting effort. Countries covered by this region include: Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, France (Reunion and overseas territories), Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa & Tanzania. The principal work is supported by the Indian Ocean Commission’s ‘Biodiversity Project’, and is being undertaken with the Coral Reef Task Force of the Nairobi Convention (the UNEP Regional Seas convention for the region). CORDIO has been hired by the Indian Ocean Commission to coordinate the reporting, and we are also undertaking this under our long term mandate to support coral reef monitoring in the region through the GCRMN and International Coral Reef Initiative.

Each country has a National Coral Reef Task Force that is compiling country data, assisted in most cases by a National consultant, and preparing a country report. A Regional Coordinator (David Obura) is overseeing the process and will synthesize the national reports and compile the regional report.

What we are looking for is:

  • Summary data – mean & standard deviation, minimum and maximum, at monitoring site/station level. (ie. we are NOT dealing with raw data, partly for practicality, partly to protect your Intellectual Property)
  • Primary datasets we are reporting are benthos and fish, with mobile invertebrates where available.
  • Time series data, with ideally as long a span as possible, and as many reporting points as possible. We are unlikely to use any series with less than 2 time points, unless different comparable surveys complement each other.
  • Any case study/topical information on major events/disturbances.

Given we are asking for just summary data and that the format(s) for this are relatively simple, we are requesting all data to be submitted by mid-February. This will allow presentation of a draft of the GCRMN report at ICRS (late June 2016) and completion by the IUCN Conservation Congress (September 2016).

We have crafted a Data Sharing Agreement for all contributors and participants in the process to sign. In this we commit to not using your data for anything other than this reporting, and you commit to the same for anyone else’s data that you might access through the process (e.g. through reviewing national reports). Note again, this is just summary data that you have hopefully (or should have) reported in a publication, not your raw or primary data!!

IF we have sufficient support, we would like to publish the dataset/make it open access with a Creative Commons CC-BY license to the outputs, with all data owners acknowledged, to promote Open Access approach to data sharing. But this will ONLY be done through confirmation by all data owners through a new and updated Data Sharing Agreement once the details of that process are determined (e.g. a portal through www.obis.org).

For further details, the Data Sharing Agreement, and all instructions, will be available on a website to be announced here shortly. Meanwhile, please send your intention to submit data to gcrmn@cordioea.net. National coordinators are responsible for compilation of each country’s data, but we will coordinate external submissions through this regional node.