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The survey has taken place on the radiale of Tiahura since 1987. The marks on the radiale on the beach is a cut in the reef perpendicular to the reef, then the radiale passes through 3 coral heads at station 8 and then is aligned to the yellow buoy attached over -40m in the ocean.
A 50m reel (A, see schematics below) is unrolled perpendicularly to the shore. At 25m, perpendicularly to the reel (thus parallel to the beach) another 50m reel (B) is set up. On this second reel, every meter substrate is sampled using a lead weighted line and classified in the following 7 categories:
- R (Rubble)
- S (Sand)
- T (Turf)
- A (macro Algae)
- P (Porolithon / coralline encrusting algae)
- D (Pavement, Dalle in French)
- C (live Coral)
This is done 22 times from the shore to -25m on the outer slope.