Nassau Grouper and Mutton Snapper . A spawning aggregation, estimated to consist of 30,000 to 100,000 Nassau groupers, occurred during the third week of January 1971 off Cat Cay in the Bahamas. Subsequently other aggrega- tions have been reported at different spawning sites To this end we used mobile hydroacoustic surveys to estimate the density, spatial extent, and total abundance of a Nassau grouper spawning aggregation at Little Cayman Island, Cayman Islands, BWI. Nassau grouper spawning aggregation size is a histo r-ical minimum. Smith (1972) was the first to document character- istics of a spawning aggregation of Nassau grouper at Cat Bay, Bahamas. The Nassau Grouper Epinephelus striatus is a Caribbean coral reef fish that displays such spawning aggregations, which have been overfished to the point of threatening the species. The Nassau grouper, an iconic and endangered Caribbean reef fish. Many large-bodied marine fishes that form spawning aggregations, such as the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), have suffered regional overfishing due to exploitation during spawning.In response, marine resource managers in many locations have established marine protected areas or seasonal closures to recover these overfished stocks. Regional Fish Spawning Aggregation Fishery Management Plan: Focus on . Some of â¦ Fishing, mainly at the spawning â¦ It is now designated as threatened in the US, and as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Declaration produced from the Miami meeting was then adopted during the 2018 meeting. It is an important member of estuarine, mangrove, seagrass and reef communities throughout the â¦ We analyze a uniquely rich research and monitoring dataset from spawning aggregations in the Cayman Islands to reconstruct annual Nassau grouper spawner abundance across almost 2 decades of postcollapse adaptive â¦ Pok Fu Lam Road, Hong Kong, SAR If this and other nearby spawn-ing sites do exist (denoted by a cross ( ) in Fig. An illegally hooked Nassau grouper sits suspended in the water alongside a monitoring diver at Northeast Point, Glover Atollâs spawning aggregation â¦ 2 However, it is not known if the site currently sustains spawning Nassau grouper. Both the Nassau grouper and the mutton snapper are, or once were, important contributors to the economy Unfortunately, this strategy for reproducing has been the downfall of Nassau grouper populations throughout much of the Caribbean. a large Nassau grouper spawning aggregation site located south of St. Thomas was extirpated in the 1970s, and although additional aggregation sites have been reported anecdotally, the demise of this site was believed to have been instrumental in the collapse of the Nassau grouper fishery in St. Thomas waters (Olsen and LaPlace 1978). Then, in 2001 and 2002 the rediscovery of a traditional Nassau grouper spawning site in Little Cayman resulted in approximately 4,000 fish being caught. Spawning aggregations of the Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus, occurring at the southern end of Long Island were investigated during the winters of 1987â1988 and 1988â1989. However, four ofâ¦ the number of fish present. Nassau grouper spawning aggregation sites can be easy to target for fishing but difficult to protect and challenging to study. Nassau Grouper migrate to spawning aggregations, the timing of migrations, and the distance of migration routes used by Nassau Grouper from within and outside of a large, no-take marine reserve in the central Bahamas. Nassau grouper spawning aggregation. Project Overview The Nassau grouper used to be common on Caribbean coral reefs and was once considered the most commercially important reef fish species in the region. A spawning aggregation, estimated to consist of 30,000 to 100,000 Nassau groupers, occurred during the third week of January 1971 off Cat Cay in the Bahamas. Thus, there is a critical need to develop techniques for rapidly assessing the remaining known (and unknown) aggregations. In response, in 2003 the government banned grouper fishing at aggregation sites during spawning season for eight years. Overfishing of tropical grouper- and snapper-spawning aggregations is a globally pervasive problem, but evidence is elusive that recovery can occur following stock collapse. The grouper spawning aggregation at Glover' s. Reef has been fished since the 1970s by fishers from. The findings were bleak: Some 82 percent of the Nassau grouper spawning habitat found between 1981 and 2000 could disappear by 2081 to 2100. This may continue for several days. Nassau groupers reproduce in only a few special places around the full moons of the winter months each year. The annual Nassau Grouper Closed Season begins December 1, 2017 and runs until February 28, 2018. After spawning as a female for one or more years, the grouper changes sex, functioning as a male during future spawning events. The fisher y. Fish (total n = 19) were tagged in 2004 (n = 6) and 2005 (n = 13) and were tracked for one to four spawning seasons. Fish aggregate at two specific sites around the time of the full moon in December and January, possibly not during November and almost certainly not during February. This species migrates to Northeast Point of Gloverâs Reef Marine Reserve to congregate at the spawning aggregation site. The Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus), is listed as âVulnerableâ (IUCN, 2006). This Spawning Aggregation Working Group met in Miami in 2013 and 2018. Age at maturity was established, as were reproductive rates. In the moonlight, huge numbers of the grouper gather together to mate in a mass spawning aggregation. Spawning takes place in December and January as the seawater cools, always at full moon, and always in the same place. The Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) is an emblematic fish in the Caribbean, but today it is listed as âendangeredâ on the IUCN Red List. Often, the grouper are caught before they have a chance to reproduce. Below is a re-count by videographer Joe Miller of the video survey conducted by Green Reef. The Nassau grouper is one of the most important species in the region and it is currently listed as âCritically Endangeredâ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Once fishermen know where these spawning sites are, they can wipe out regional Nassau grouper populations within a decade or less, leading Nassau grouper to be considered an endangered species internationally. The majority of Nassau groupers that spawn here are atoll resident. The Cayman Islands used to be home to five Nassau grouper spawning sites. An understanding of temporal patterns of migration and spatial connectivity between home ranges and spawning sites is necessary for effective management of species that form transient spawning aggregations. In addition to Nassau grouper, yellowfin grouper and tiger grouper occasionally show up to be cleaned (but rarely are allowed access for more than a few moments). (Windows Media Player, 12 MB) Little Cayman Spawning Aggregation Compilation 2008 - This video is a compilation of activity at the West End Little Cayman spawning site. Photo courtesy NOAA. Nassau grouper fisheries and monitoring activities in Belize. It is a domino effect that has led to today's endangered status for the Nassau Grouper. Therefore, fishing the spawning aggregation removes not only the current generation, but also the next generation. 1), one can tus spawning aggregation site is known to have previously existed within the ECLSP boundaries at the âWide Open-ing,â approximately 20 km to the NNW of the tagging site. Tiger grouper meets Nassau grouper. Its overall color is pale tan for fish found in shallow areas and pinkish red â¦ Spawning takes place at specific aggregation sites during the week of a full moon each year, giving the project its âGrouper Moonâ name. In Bermuda the spawning aggregations form during May to June (Bardach et al. 1 . During spawning, Nassau grouper aggregate in very high â¦ In order to better understand the state of the Nassau Grouper populations in Belize, Green Reef coordinated video surveys at nine sites during the spawning period in January last year. Groupers are protogynous hermaphrodites. The Nassau grouperâa fish known for its spectacular spawning aggregations in and around the Caribbean Seaâis now a âCritically Endangeredâ species, according to a new assessment by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) that was recently published and Yvonne J. Sadovy de Mitcheson1.2, Martha C. Prada Triana3, James O. Azueta4 and Kenyon C. Lindeman5 . The Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus) is a large fish that inhabits our reefs and is especially common in the waters of Saba.As is typical of groupers, it has a robust, elongated body, rounded fins and big lips. The locations and timing of many Nassau grouper spawning aggregations have been documented, however information may need to be updated to confirm the current status, i.e. 1958) and during March to April in Jamaica (Thompson & Munro 1983). Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) are endangered predators found on coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea. Furthermore, all resident Nassau grouper visit their local aggregation every year. Most are located at the edges of coastal platforms, adjacent to the open ocean, limiting access for shore-based fishery officers with weak enforcement capability. The Grouper Moon Project is a conservation science partnership between Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DoE) with scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and Oregon State University, aimed at studying Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) - a social and ecological corner stone of Caribbean's coral reefs. The fish congregated near the edge of deep water and about oneâthird were in an unusual color patternâdark above and light below with some of the usual head markings reversed. A proprietary method for timing control of the spawning event, has been in development for years, and this method utilizes no hormonal injections or invasive stimuli. The Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus, is a member of the subfamily Epinephelinae comprising large sea bass that are top-level predators on coral reefs. Around the full moon at the beginning of the year, they gather in thousands to reproduce at a special site on the West end of Little Cayman, Cayman Islands. 1 Swire Institute of Marine Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong . Fish Tropic Seafood is preparing for a potential Nassau grouper spawning event towards the end of June.