Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NOAA Scientists Map Fish Habitat and Movements at Gray’s Reef Marine Sanctuary

04.09.2009
New Findings May Help Protect Overfished Species

Two related research expeditions by NOAA scientists to track the habitat preferences and movements of fish at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary may help managers protect overfished species such as red snapper and grouper. Research from the two expeditions appears in the current online edition of the peer-reviewed Bulletin of Marine Sciences.

“It’s important to know exactly what areas to protect,” says Matt Kendall, principle investigator on the habitat mapping project. “Certain fish gravitate to certain bottom types. If you want to protect red snapper, for example, you have to know where they live.”

The projects tracking fish movements through telemetry will help researchers better understand the basic “life histories” of these fish. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, citing the “lack of basic management data as a major obstacle” to the successful management of these species, has recently called for a total ban on red snapper fishing to help restore stock levels. The ban is pending final approval.

According to the latest reports from NOAA Fisheries, black sea bass, red snapper, red grouper, and gag are among the region’s overfished species. These studies are helping researchers better understand the movements and habitat preferences of these species, and their potential vulnerability to fishing. This knowledge will contribute to stock management and recovery of overfished species.

In the first of the two expeditions, researchers confirmed the importance of limestone ledges, which make up only one percent of Gray’s Reef and only slightly more of the entire continental shelf of the southeastern United States. Scientists noted a distinct correlation between ledge characteristics such as height and degree of undercut to the types and numbers of fish found at the ledge. This information can help prioritize reef areas for management.

For example, gag and scamp, two grouper species prized by recreational fishermen, are nearly always present at ledges extending from a wall or structure by 12-18 inches – a ledge type that represents only a tiny fraction of limestone ledges in the sanctuary. Red snapper are typically present near ledges extending a minimum of 27 inches, a ledge type that also represents only a small portion of the limestone ledges in the sanctuary.

Kendall and his colleagues are not only mapping the relative value of Gray’s Reef habitat for various fish communities, but also tracking how fish move around the sanctuary. Over the last two years, Kendall and his team have implanted tracking devices in fish which are being used in conjunction with sensors placed throughout part of the sanctuary.

These sensors will help them understand, for example, which fish are “homebodies” and which fish travel more widely. The data so far reveals that grouper tend to stay close to their preferred ledges, while snapper venture farther from their home territory.

The team’s research not only has implications for the management of Gray’s Reef Sanctuary, but also for the management of reefs throughout the South Atlantic region. “If the fish have these kinds of specific relationships to the bottom habitat at Gray’s Reef, there is no reason to think that these same relationships don’t exist elsewhere in the southeastern United States,” Kendall said.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

John Ewald | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.noaa.gov

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>