Event Title

Investigating Factors Involved In Nassau Grouper Spawning Aggregation Dynamics In The Bahamas

Session Number

C23

Advisor(s)

Kristine Stump, Shedd Aquarium

Location

B-125 Tellabs

Start Date

28-4-2016 9:15 AM

End Date

28-4-2016 9:40 AM

Disciplines

Biology

Abstract

In The Bahamas, Nassau Grouper, a top predator, are at a critical stage in their long term survival. Years of overfishing at spawning aggregations have caused an enormous decrease in their population, causing them to be listed as endangered and the Bahamas National Trust to enlist the help of biologists for research. The main focus of my research was to add temperature and light intensity readings to each tracking of a Nassau Grouper, so that the data could be graphically examined for significant trends. Each fish that was tagged had every one of its motions reviewed and graphed against depth, light, and temperature. The average temperature when the fish moving was 80.1373 degrees Fahrenheit. Light was not found to be a significant factor in the movements to or within aggregations. The depth of the Nassau Grouper in the water was found to be significantly higher during spawning hours than non-spawning hours. This pattern cannot be found in the graphs of individual fish, but the technology can pick up the pattern across all fish. These findings are important for implementing regulations on fishermen during the grouper’s mating season that protect both Nassau Grouper and the fishermen.


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Apr 28th, 9:15 AM Apr 28th, 9:40 AM

Investigating Factors Involved In Nassau Grouper Spawning Aggregation Dynamics In The Bahamas

B-125 Tellabs

In The Bahamas, Nassau Grouper, a top predator, are at a critical stage in their long term survival. Years of overfishing at spawning aggregations have caused an enormous decrease in their population, causing them to be listed as endangered and the Bahamas National Trust to enlist the help of biologists for research. The main focus of my research was to add temperature and light intensity readings to each tracking of a Nassau Grouper, so that the data could be graphically examined for significant trends. Each fish that was tagged had every one of its motions reviewed and graphed against depth, light, and temperature. The average temperature when the fish moving was 80.1373 degrees Fahrenheit. Light was not found to be a significant factor in the movements to or within aggregations. The depth of the Nassau Grouper in the water was found to be significantly higher during spawning hours than non-spawning hours. This pattern cannot be found in the graphs of individual fish, but the technology can pick up the pattern across all fish. These findings are important for implementing regulations on fishermen during the grouper’s mating season that protect both Nassau Grouper and the fishermen.