Navigation Links
Fall bonefish census sounds warning bell that warrants careful future monitoring

MIAMI November 22, 2010 This October more than 60 guides and anglers in the Florida Keys poled across the flats from Biscayne Bay to the Marquesas, assisting in the annual bonefish census. This year's count, held in extremely difficult weather with lowered visibility, was down by 25-percent from an 8-year mean estimate of 316,805 bonefish to a new low of about 240,000 bonefish, according to Professor Jerry Ault, a fisheries scientist with the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science.

"Since 2003 we have conducted an annual bonefish census throughout the Keys," said Ault. "It provides researchers, like me, and fisheries managers with an early warning system to identify trends and population changes." This year guides saw fewer bonefish in historically productive areas, a possible reflection of real population changes coupled with differences in the coastal environment. Future counts will be looking for evidence of this as an emerging population trend.

"Bonefish are a good indicator of overall ecological health. These highly mobile fish feed on small marine organisms at the base of the food chain like shrimps, crabs and baitfish; thus, the health of the bonefish population is greatly dependent on the status of the ecosystem as a whole. A change in the population is likely to signal greater issues throughout the coastal ecosystem and provide clues that we can study and address before the situation becomes critical," Ault added.

Ault suggests that if bonefish abundance did decline in 2010, it is still too early to pinpoint the reasons. However, he points out that last winter's January extended cold wave was particularly lethal to tropical gamefish species including tarpon, snook and bonefish, and to their prey. Water temperatures dipped as low as 44oF for periods of more than 3.5 days, and killed mostly small (and young) bonefish in Biscayne and Florida Bays.

The census, conducted in collaboration with local fishermen and guides, as well as the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT), and the Florida Keys Fishing Guide Associations, is important because bonefish are a major component of Florida's $5.5 billion sport-fishing industry. Based on past results, Ault estimates each bonefish in Florida is worth about $3,500 per year to the industry or about $75,000 over its lifetime.

"We are especially grateful to the guides and anglers of the Keys who continue to work closely with us because one of the great challenges we face is the lack of long-term historical data on the Florida bonefish population," said Tom Davidson, chairman of the BTT. "The datasets we are now developing are just the beginning. We are still learning about natural variations in these dynamic systems, so we can't really be sure yet about the significance of these ups and downs. However, these types of major population fluctuations will ensure that we remain vigilant."


Contact: Barbra Gonzalez
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

Related biology news :

1. Bonefish census reveals population holding steady
2. San Diego Supercomputer Center participates in first Census of Marine Life
3. 1st census shows life in planet ocean is richer, more connected, more altered than expected
4. Census of Marine Life celebrates decade of discovery
5. MBL scientists reveal findings of World Ocean Microbe Census
6. Census of Marine Life program tracking animals on Pacific continental shelf
7. Census of Marine Life publishes historic roll call of species in 25 key world areas
8. A howling success: The fifth howler monkey census on Barro Colorado Island
9. Explorers census hard-to-see sea life: microbes, tiny animals key to Earths food, carbon systems
10. Census data aid disease simulation studies
11. Beyond sunlight: Explorers census 17,650 ocean species between edge of darkness and black abyss
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Fall bonefish census sounds warning bell that warrants careful future monitoring
(Date:11/17/2015)... 17, 2015 Paris from ... --> Paris from 17 th until ... biometrics innovation leader, has invented the first combined scanner in ... same scanning surface. Until now two different scanners were required: ... can capture both on the same surface. This innovation ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  A golden retriever that stayed healthy despite ... has provided a new lead for treating this muscle-wasting ... Institute of MIT and Harvard and the University of ... Cell, pinpoints a protective gene that ... effects. The Boston Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015 ... behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and verify ... Signature is considered as the secure and accurate ... identification of a particular individual because each individual,s ... accurate results especially when dynamic signature of an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Global Stem Cells Group ... of a new closed system for isolating adipose-derived stem cells. The announcement starts a ... of adipose tissue. SVF is a component of the lipoaspirate obtained from liposuction of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Partnership includes an MPP ... u niversity , s Solid Drug Nanoparticle (SDN) Technology ... - up through cost cuts of ... where licensees based anywhere in the world will have the right to make, use ... , where licensees based anywhere in the world will have the right to ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... announced a new globally touring exhibition Jurassic World: The Exhibition, opening in March ... Exhibition will embark on a worldwide tour including several North American tour dates. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Colo. , Nov. 30, 2015  Aytu BioScience, ... on urological and related conditions, will present at two ... at, an interactive real-time virtual conference, to be ... Event Investor Conference, to be held December 2 nd ... Los Angeles and streamed live via webcast. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: