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CSI on Coral Reefs. CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS CRIME SCENE DO NOT. The ICRI Committee on Coral Reef Enforcement and Investigation. Dave Gulko Lead, ICRI Committee on Coral Reef Enforcement & Investigation. • Landing Scrape from Kayak • Foot Damage from Entry/Exit.

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csi on coral reefs
CSI on Coral Reefs


The ICRI Committee on Coral Reef Enforcement and Investigation

Dave Gulko

Lead, ICRI Committee on Coral Reef

Enforcement & Investigation


• Landing Scrape from Kayak

• Foot Damage from Entry/Exit

For A Short-Term Human Impact Event On Coral Reefs - How Do We Determine Causality & Responsibility?


1). For a wide variety of coral reef impact incidents, the people most likely to respond have no formal training or tools for conducting legally-defensible investigations

2). There are no recognized standards for conducting such investigations

The Problem:

1). For a wide variety of coral reef impact incidents, the people most likely to respond have no formal training or tools for conducting legally-defensible investigations

  • IMPAC October 2005; Geelong, Australia
  • ICRI Late October 2005; Belau
    • A Committee is formed…
  • USCRTF Early November 2005; Belau
  • Florida Forensics Workshop January 2006
    • Brainstorming and a meeting of minds…
committee make up
ICRI Secretariat



Australia (GBRMPA)







Solomon Islands




Committee Make-up

Plus an oddball or two like myself….

working sub group
Coral Reef Resource Managers

Ex-homicide Detective & CSI Advisor

Wildlife Forensic Laboratory

ERA Specialists

Coral Reef Restoration Specialist

Coral Reef Enforcement Specialist

Coral Reef Ecotoxicologist

Working Sub-Group
use of investigations to maximize
Use of Investigations to Maximize
  • Negotiation • Restoration
  • Mitigation • Identification
  • Mediation of Responsible
  • Litigation Parties (RPs)
  • Prosecution

Who Are We Talking About

  • Marine Enforcement Officers
  • Environmental Assessment Specialists
  • Litigators
  • Natural Resource Managers & Biologists
  • Coral Reef Researchers

What Are We Talking About

  • Basic Investigation Training & Strategies
  • Handling of Data as Evidence
  • Providing Ecological & Resource Impact Analysis to Support Prosecution
  • Getting the Word Out
  • Judicial Education

How Do You Investigate Impacts on Coral Reefs?

• Scientific Experimentation

• Monitoring

homicide the csi approach
Homicide:The ‘CSI’ Approach
  • Science driven by legal needs
  • Strong burden on documentation
  • Strong burden on “Chain-of-Custody”
homicide the csi approach1
Homicide:The ‘CSI’ Approach
  • Existing International Acceptance

But how do you translate terrestrial techniques to an underwater world?

post itmems pilot field training workshop coral reef csi
Post-ITMEMS Pilot Field Training Workshop: Coral Reef CSI
  • 63 Applicants, 21 Countries & Islands
  • Marine Enforcement, Lawyers, Res. Mgrs, Scientists, MPA Mgrs, NGOs, Forensic Scientists
draft toolkit
Draft Toolkit
  • Cookbook Approach
  • High & Low Tech
  • Translatable
csi field kit
CSI Field Kit
  • Most Items Can Be Made
  • High & Low Tech
  • Porttable, Self-Contained

The Regional Workshop Approach:

• Experienced CR CSI Instructors

• Asst CR CSI Instructors from Region

• Regional Participants: Multi-country, Multi-agency, Multi-discipline


Committee Goals

  • To design a set of draft protocols and techniques for investigating short-term events on coral reefs.
  • To conduct a pilot field training workshop at the upcoming ITMEMS, October 2006.
  • To use results to produce an international toolkit and field CSI kits.
  • To conduct regional field training workshops in 2007 & 2008.

how can one get involved
How Can One Get Involved?

• Red Sea

• East Africa

• South Asia

• Southeast Asia

• Indonesia/Philippines

• Australia

• South Pacific Islands

• Central Pacific Islands

• Central/South America

• South Caribbean Islands

• Eastern Caribbean Islands

• Florida (ICRS 2008)

Potential Regional Training Workshops (2007 - 2009): What are each region’s needs & concerns?

basic assumptions of cr investigations
Basic Assumptions of CR Investigations
  • Going to Court
  • Limitations: Time, Scale, Resources
  • Ecological Complexity
  • Remoteness of Operation
  • Two Types of Investigations:
    • Cause Known, Impact Unknown (ex. Vessel Grounding)
    • Cause Unknown, Impact Known (ex. Fish Kill)
the pre assessment
The Pre-Assessment

• Fuel

• Alien Spp.

• Chemicals

• Physical Damage

• Recovery Damage

• Anchor Damage

• Rare Spp.

• Protected Spp.

• Fragile or Protected Habitats

the pre assessment setting a impact scene perimeter an event perimeter defining habitat subhabitats

Deep Reef

Reef Slope

Reef Crest

Reef Flat

Reef Holes

Massive Corals

The Pre-assessment: Setting A Impact Scene Perimeter, An Event Perimeter, & Defining Habitat/Subhabitats

The Biological Assessment

• Modified REAs

• Impact & Control