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Black grouper aggregations in relation to protected areas within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Eklund, A.-M.; McClellan, D.B.; Harper, D.E. (2000). Black grouper aggregations in relation to protected areas within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, in: Coleman, F.C. et al. (Ed.) Essential Fish Habitat and Marine Reserves: Proceedings of the 2nd William R. and Lenore Mote International Symposium in Fisheries Ecology, November 4-6, 1998, Sarasota, Florida. Bulletin of Marine Science, 66(3): pp. 721-728
In: Coleman, F.C.; Travis, J.; Thistle, A.B. (Ed.) (2000). Essential Fish Habitat and Marine Reserves: Proceedings of the 2nd William R. and Lenore Mote International Symposium in Fisheries Ecology, November 4-6, 1998, Sarasota, Florida. Bulletin of Marine Science, 66(3). Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences: Miami. 525-1009 pp., more
In: Bulletin of Marine Science. University of Miami Press: Coral Gables. ISSN 0007-4977, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Eklund, A.-M.; McClellan, D.B.; Harper, D.E. (2000). Black grouper aggregations in relation to protected areas within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Bull. Mar. Sci. 66(3): 721-728, more

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Eklund, A.-M.
  • McClellan, D.B.
  • Harper, D.E.

Abstract
    During the winter of 1997-1998, we discovered an aggregation of black grouper, Mycteroperca bonaci, less than 100m outside a newly designated marine reserve. The spawning mode and aggregation behavior of black grouper have not been reported previously, even though this species is an important component of both the recreational and commercial fishing sectors of the Florida Keys. The grouper aggregation included up to 96 individuals just seaward of a no-take area within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. We documented the seasonal and spatial distribution of the aggregation during a series of drift dives over the presumed spawning area. In January and February of 1998, the black grouper were aggregated in a spatially discrete 100-m² area in 18-28m of water. By April the number had declined, and their distribution had become more even, rather than aggregated. Although the marine reserve offers total protection from all fishing activity, these groupers were susceptible to being caught in large numbers, as the entire aggregation remained in waters deeper than the reserve boundary. If the reserve boundary were moved seaward beyond the slope-sand interface along the 30-m contour, the vulnerable aggregation would be protected.

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