, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 351-361

A spawning aggregation of Nassau grouperEpinephelus striatus (Pisces: Serranidae) in the Mexican Caribbean

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Synopsis

An annual spawning aggregation of Nassau grouper,Epinephelus striatus, observed off the southern coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico, on full moon days in December and January, was surveyed during the winters from 1991 to 1993. A fish aggregation had been appearing at one traditional site off Mahahual for more than 80 years, but currently it forms at undetermined sites far from the original site. Fish migration was northwards in the fore reef border along the 14 m isobath and isolated groups were observed. Through visual assessment fish aggregations were found to include 200 to 500 individuals. The fishing on Nassau grouper aggregations has been active since 1910 by using hook and line; however, recently fishermen used gill nets. It is necessary to continue the research on this aggregation and establish management guidelines to protect the species.