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:5/12/2016)... 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand of ... results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables ... consumers, receptivity to a program where they would receive ... insurance company. "We were surprised to see ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016: ... up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% ... 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M ... revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new partnership ... more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of ... competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies to ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, ... data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... PBI-Gordon Corporation is ... and Ornamental Products. , In his 15-year career with PBI-Gordon, Dave has served in ... where he was integral in the development and launch of many of PBI-Gordon’s most ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ISELIN, New Jersey and ... 2016 Indegene ( ... kommerziellen und marketingorientierten Lösungen für die Life-Science-Branche, ... ), ein bekannter weltweiter Anbieter von innovativen ... im Zuge des Starts von IntraScience heute ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... 2016  Agriculture nutrients are in the news these ... is running their nitrate removal system on overtime ... and coastal regions nationwide are painting the water ... issue. NECi Superior Enzymes, a biotechnology company ... a new, easy to use device that fits in ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 Q ... that it will be a featured presenter at the 5th ... New York City at the Grand ... Corin , Q BioMed Inc. CEO, is scheduled to begin ... cover the company,s business strategy, recent developments and outline milestones ...
Breaking Biology Technology: