Navigation Links
Bonefish census reveals population holding steady
Date:12/4/2008

VIRGINIA KEY, Fla. -- If you're looking for bonefish from Miami down to the Marquesas Islands, you have about 321,000 to choose from, and that is down slightly from the average of previous censusesmostly due to increased participation among those who are counting, researchers speculate. The University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science held the sixth annual Florida Keys bonefish census, in conjunction with the conservation group Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited (BTU), which involved 64 professional fishing guides, scientists and graduate students split up among 19 zones, covering 1,575 square miles.

"It's true the numbers are down slightly," said Dr. Jerry Ault, Rosenstiel School professor of marine biology and fisheries and co-founder of the census along with Sandy Moret of BTU, "However, I wouldn't read too much into that change. Statistically there is no significant difference year over year. The decrease could be due to variations in where the bonefish showed up this year, the weather on census day, or the fact that we had more guides scouring the Lower Keys than in previous years. A Spring 2008 census to calibrate the Fall census showed pretty much the same thing --we're getting a generally consistent count from year to year, which helps to validate our research process and confirm our estimates."

Ault and BTU started the annual census in 2003 to determine a baseline for scientifically evaluating changes in the Florida Keys bonefish population. With help from flats guides and their customers to poll the flats looking for bonefish, they counted the quantities of bonefish observed and caught. This year, the boats set out on October 29, to visually and methodically count bonefish throughout the day. The volunteers, who ranged from fisherman to scientists and graduate students, covered well-known, popular bonefish territory, which ultimately resulted in a population estimate this year of 320,961 bonefish (+/- 41,091 for a 12.8 percent coefficient of variation) or about 204 bonefish per square mile.

Bonefish are valuable for several reasons. Because of their large size, bonefish obviously rely on smaller creatures in the ecosystem whose populations aren't as easy to assess. Bonefish are fairly easy to count on the flats and can be seen as an indicator of the overall ecosystem's general healthresearchers will observe changes here much sooner than within a smaller creature whose numbers are in the millions. Long-time bonefish anglers often remark on the dramatic decreases they've observed in this popular sportfish's population.

"Bonefish are a great indicator of ecological change," Ault said. "I would be concerned if the population drops from 300,000 to 200,000."

These fish also bring South Florida a significant amount of tourism. Bonefish sportfishing contributes approximately $1.0 billion annually to the Florida economy, making sportfishing more valuable than commercial fishing in today's market.

"This estimate of the 'visible' population makes each bonefish in the water worth about $3,500 per year to the industry, and about $75,000 per fish over its lifetime," Ault said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Barbra Gonzalez
barbgo@rsmas.miami.edu
305-421-4704
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New tarpon, bonefish compendium published
2. 5th annual Keys bonefish population census results announced
3. Census of protein architectures offers new view of history of life
4. Census of Marine Life lists 122,500 known species, over halfway to complete inventory by Oct. 2010
5. Scientists announce major progress towards historic Census of Marine Life in 2010
6. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
7. Structure of 450 million year old protein reveals evolutions steps
8. Neural stem cell study reveals mechanism that may play role in cancer
9. New method reveals substances on surfaces of any kind
10. Study reveals predation-evolution link
11. IDEMA Reveals Program Highlights for DISKCON USA 2007
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bonefish census reveals population holding steady
(Date:11/27/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2019 , ... ... patients to their Glen Ellyn, IL practice for Invisalign® treatment. Invisalign ... teeth. , Patients with a misaligned bite, also known as malocclusion, present both ...
(Date:11/19/2019)... ... 19, 2019 , ... Project Lifeline – a community partnership and ... address substance use disorder (SUD) – will take center stage at the ... the program’s effectiveness in preventing and treating opioid abuse in Blair County, Pennsylvania, will ...
(Date:11/14/2019)... POWAY, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... November 13, 2019 , ... ... successfully enrolled the first patients in an FDA approved clinical trial for stem ... anniversary of the formation of the company as a subsidiary of VetStem Biopharma. , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/12/2019)... ... November 12, 2019 , ... Genedata, ... that Immatics Biotechnologies , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing T-cell receptor ... R&D operations related to the discovery and development of high-affinity and high-specificity ...
(Date:11/12/2019)... ... November 12, 2019 , ... Peggy Lillis ... about the deadly healthcare-associated infection C. diff. The campaign, “See C. diff,” ... which kills at least 30,000 people in the U.S. each year. The campaign ...
(Date:11/6/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... November 06, 2019 , ... ... leaders through off-the-record collaboration and dialogue, today announces its East/West CEO ... in San Francisco. , Kicking off the week of the ...
(Date:11/5/2019)... ... 05, 2019 , ... Ole, a German Shepherd, was demonstrating signs of osteoarthritis in April 2019. ... his energy level and his willingness to play were normal, it was clear that he ... VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center in San Diego, California. Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: