Cooperative Research and Assessment of Nearshore Ecosystems (CRANE) Program

2004 CRANE Data Use Policy

Overview and Philosophy

The 2004 CRANE scuba surveys were the result of collaborative efforts between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), various universities, private organizations, and government programs. Survey data are available to interested individuals and organizations. However, because of a need to track studies and publications resulting from these data and to avoid duplication of effort, guidelines, procedures, and forms for requesting and using the data have been developed. Designing the sampling program and collecting the data required countless hours of planning and preparation, field time, data consolidation, and data QA/QC. Any publications or reports that cite or include these data, should acknowledge CRANE, the Principal Investigators, and their affiliates. (See Acknowledgement.)

What Data are Available?

Data sets include fish (transects), benthic invertebrate (transects, Uniform Point Contact), and giant kelp (transects) surveys at 88 near shore sites, ranging from Santa Cruz to San Diego, California. See the Metadata/ Data Resources page.

How Does One Access the Data?

To access the data, all interested parties must first submit a CRANE Data Request Form available by email via the contact below. The application will be reviewed by CDFW staff and sent to CRANE Principal Investigators. If approved, the applicant will be notified and sent a copy of the requested data. If not approved, the request will be returned along with the reason(s), as well as guidance for resubmitting the request. Data along with complete metadata will be sent via email, or CD/DVD ROM. Online access is not available at this time.


Outside parties who use these data for analysis and/or publication must acknowledge the CRANE program and the Principal Investigators responsible for the particular data used (see Metadata/ Data Resources page). The citation should take the form:

"This study/report utilized data collected by the Cooperative Research and Assessment of Nearshore Ecosystems (CRANE) program, a collaborative effort between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), various universities, private organizations, and government programs. In particular, we thank [list appropriate affiliates]."

Users of these data are encouraged to contact the Principal Investigators. Where appropriate, researchers whose projects are integrally dependent on CRANE data are encouraged to consider collaboration and/or co-authorship with particular CRANE investigators.

Redistribution and Unauthorized Use

No user may disseminate or redistribute to any third party not identified in the Data Request Form, any part of the CRANE database, by any means.


Extensive efforts were made to ensure that data are accurate and up to date, but the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, CRANE, Principal Investigators and their affiliates take no responsibility for any errors that may exist in the data provided. Furthermore, the user assumes all responsibility for errors in analysis or judgment resulting from use of the data.

Use for Marine Protected Area (MPA) Performance Analysis

Several MPAs were included among the 88 sites surveyed during the 2004 CRANE effort. These areas were myriad with respect to size, placement, habitat, level of protection, and length of time as a protected area.

A thorough evaluation of the effectiveness of any MPA must collectively consider its effects on species, ecosystems, and habitats. It must separate MPA effects from other factors (e.g., upwelling, geographic location) that affect species abundance and distribution. A thorough evaluation of any MPA must also consider a variety of parameters and techniques appropriate for monitoring it. In addition to scuba surveys, trap/fixed gear surveys, remotely operated vehicle and submersible surveys, and analysis of logbooks or other CPUE databases may be used to determine changes in MPAs relative to nearby and distant unprotected areas.

Of particular importance is an analysis of trends in biological parameters over time. Sufficient time must be allowed for any changes to occur and for any monitoring program to collect enough data to detect changes. Analytical results must be statistically significant and express sufficient confidence before any conclusions about the effectiveness of an MPA can be made. While extensive in scope (taxa surveyed) and geographic coverage, the 2004 CRANE scuba data set represents only one year's data from nearshore rocky reef habitat (generally less than 20 m deep) and, when taken alone, should not be considered sufficient to draw conclusions about differences between individual sites, regardless of protection status.

For more information, contact:

David Osorio
California Department of Fish and Wildlife