Q: How does the quantity and variety of specimens compare to similar studies that have been conducted of the Carolina coast 10, 20, or 30 years ago?
A: There is very little data about the area we are exploring. There is no data about the non- commercial species found out here because it is beyond SCUBA depth and there has been limited funding for the survey work that would answer this question. We have some anecdotal data from fishing records for commercial species. Some population models based on these records suggest that the snapper/grouper complex is declining worldwide, but the population off the North Carolina coast may be faring better than others.
Part of our mission is to document all of the species we find so we can answer questions like this in the future.