The AIMS Long Term Monitoring Program (LTMP) has been surveying the health of 47 reefs in the Great Barrier Reef annually since 1993. The reefs are spread broadly across the region so this represents the longest continuous temporal record of change in reef communities over such a large scale.
A team of trained divers surveys fishes by underwater visual census and records corals and other benthic organisms along the same sections of reef at each visit. The data captures the natural variability of coral and fish populations and documents the effects of disturbances like crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) outbreaks, cyclones and bleaching events.
In Western Australia, AIMS has been monitoring fish and coral communities on Scott Reef on the North West Shelf since 1994 to understand natural variability, and how its isolation from other reefs in the Indian Ocean and dependence upon self-recruitment affects the dynamics of local populations and resilience of communities to disturbances like cyclones.