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. Over the past nine years, WCS and the reserve staff at Glover's Reef have been applying the Long-term Atoll Monitoring Program (LAMP) protocol and collecting fishery-independent data on the status of conch, lobster, Nassau grouper, black grouper, mutton snapper, hogfish, and triggerfish 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 is critical to reef health, and in 2010 the number of sampling sites was increased to 50 to allow better representation of the General Use Zone. As of 2015 LAMP is now 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 also includes the assessment of seagrass and associated invertebrate populations as well as algal flats and associated Queen conch. Together, the activities of the revised LAMP cover much of the area of the reserve and associated fisheries activities. The LAMP 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.