Coral reefs can be difficult to study in view of the great diversity of benthic and ichtyologic communities present and also because special equipment (for snorkelling or scuba diving) is required to access the environment
It is nonetheless vital to propose methods for assessing the health of a representative section of a reef at a given time and also for monitoring its evolution in relation to the influences of natural and anthropic factors. The operating protocols (under-water activities) proposed in CoReMo are based on implementing elementary methods for monitoring different compartments: benthos, fish, target invertebrates, the physicochemical environment, etc.
CoReMo can be used at 3 different levels depending on the operators’ level of expertise: Basic, Intermediate and Expert.
The BASIC protocol proposed in CoReMo is designed exclusively for monitoring benthos on a small spatial scale; it serves to study reef health without having to set up a station.
For the INTERMEDIATE protocol, it is recommended to set up a team of non-scientists, who should be trained to use the protocols and managed by scientists. The protocols are based on observation reports made by divers at a dedicated permanent or random station with a total length of 100 meters. INTERMEDIATE integrate the standard REEF CHECK protocols.
Finally, the EXPERT protocol is designed for specialists who are highly-skilled in the identification of species, usually GCRMN (Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network) operators.