Long-Term Atoll Monitoring Program (LAMP)

Marine reserves are expected to contribute to sustainable fisheries by providing refuge areas that allow for reproduction and, ultimately, the replenishment of adjacent fished areas. Since 2004, WCS and the reserve staff at Glover's Reef have been applying the Long-term Atoll Monitoring Program (LAMP) protocol, collecting fishery-independent data on the status of conch, lobster, and fish communities from 33 sampling sites located both inside and outside the Conservation Zone. In 2006, six parrotfish species were also added to the surveys, as this family of herbivorous fish was considered critical to reef health. In 2010, the number of sampling sites was increased to 50 to allow better representation of the General Use Zone. LAMP was revised in 2015 to LAMP II, becoming a holistic assessment of coral reef (patch and fore-reef) habitats composed of details on benthic cover (coral, algae, sponge, etc.), broad fish community and mobile benthic invertebrates including commercially important conch and lobster populations. LAMP II also included the assessment of seagrass, algal flats and associated invertebrate populations. Together, the activities of the revised LAMP cover much of the area of the reserve and its commercial fisheries activities. The LAMP II monitoring program is very important in showing whether the reserve, and other current management measures, are having the desired result in sustaining populations of these commercially-exploited species, and, if not, whether there is a need to adapt management accordingly.