Coral Reef Crime Scene Investigation
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The Coral Reef CSI program and CORAL began a new partnership in 2011 to expand and improve the field of coral reef forensic investigation in managed coral reef locations. Working together, we are developing new educational and field methods for improving compliance and building support for coral reef conservation.
See what goes on behind the scenes at a Coral Reef CSI training! This engaging film by videographer Jon Slayer follows workshop participants as they learn underwater investigation techniques and practice gathering evidence for a mock trial.
What Is Coral Reef CSI?
Crime scene investigation (CSI) techniques, which have become famous through popular television dramas, are now being used underwater with the Coral Reef CSI program. Through the program's rigorous field training workshops, participants learn underwater forensic investigative techniques applicable to vessel groundings, destructive fishing, illegal extraction, and other human impacts that threaten coral reefs. During the program, participants practice proper procedures for gathering and preserving evidence in the marine environment and gain instruction in providing clear and concise analysis during decision-making processes such as court trials.
Why Is Coral Reef CSI Necessary?
Regardless of region, most coral reef ecosystems are under various levels of anthropogenic impact. In areas where a management plan is in place with regulations outlined to protect the marine environment, management authorities are often limited in resources to enforce those regulations.
The capacity of resource managers to respond to short-term human impact incidences is often limited in terms of training, time, and financial means. Training for field investigators in investigative, forensic, and rapid ecological assessment techniques is required to ensure accurate assessment and data collection and to maximize prosecution, mitigation, or negotiation success.
The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) created a committee on Coral Reef Enforcement and Natural Resource Investigation to facilitate the development of standards and protocols that respond to this need.
Under initial startup funding from the U.S. Department of State and NOAA, a toolkit and training program has been developed for standardized coral reef enforcement and natural resource investigations, which can be adapted for use in any major coral reef region and applied to a wide variety of events.
Regional training workshops are being conducted in regions around the world, focusing on the toolkit components, to train coral reef resource managers and enforcement personnel in enhanced resource protection and management capabilities to respond to natural resource impact events. The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) created a committee on Coral Reef Enforcement and Natural Resource Investigation to facilitate the development of standards and protocols that respond to this need.
Please use the navigation bar above to learn more about Coral Reef CSI products and information on regional Coral Reef CSI training workshops.