Importance of the Straits of Florida spawning ground to Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans)

David E. Richardson, Robert K. Cowen, Eric D. Prince, Su Sponaugle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Much of the uncertainty in managing highly migratory pelagic species results from the scarcity of fisheries-independent data relevant to determining long-term trends in abundance, migratory movements, and the relative importance of different spawning grounds. To address these issues, we used an ichthyoplankton-based method to quantify the overall level of spawning of sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) in the Straits of Florida (SF). We estimated that during the 2 years (2003-2004) of the study, 4.60 × 1011 sailfish eggs and 4.49 × 10 11 blue marlin eggs were produced on an annual basis in this region. These egg production values, when combined with estimates of annual fecundity for each species and the most recent stock assessment estimate of total biomass, indicate that about 2.1% of Western Atlantic sailfish spawning and 1.6% of Atlantic-wide blue marlin spawning occurs in the SF. Additionally, pop-up satellite tags deployed on sailfish at the start of the spawning season revealed their short residency times in the SF, suggesting that a large (≈13%) transient portion of the sailfish population is responsible for the SF egg production. Overall, this study provides a critically needed fisheries-independent method of quantifying spatial and temporal trends in the abundance of highly migratory species. The application of this methodology in the SF indicated that above-average levels of sailfish and blue marlin spawning occur in this area and, possibly more importantly, that the SF is a migratory bottleneck for these species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-418
Number of pages17
JournalFisheries Oceanography
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

Fingerprint

Istiophorus platypterus
spawning ground
strait
spawning
egg production
fishery
fisheries
egg
migratory species
ichthyoplankton
stock assessment
fecundity
Makaira nigricans
uncertainty
methodology
biomass

Keywords

  • Billfish
  • Egg production
  • Fisheries-independent index
  • Larval growth
  • Larval mortality
  • Migratory bottleneck
  • Pop-up satellite archival tag

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography

Cite this

Importance of the Straits of Florida spawning ground to Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans). / Richardson, David E.; Cowen, Robert K.; Prince, Eric D.; Sponaugle, Su.

In: Fisheries Oceanography, Vol. 18, No. 6, 01.11.2009, p. 402-418.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Richardson, David E. ; Cowen, Robert K. ; Prince, Eric D. ; Sponaugle, Su. / Importance of the Straits of Florida spawning ground to Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans). In: Fisheries Oceanography. 2009 ; Vol. 18, No. 6. pp. 402-418.
@article{767bf3ed72e74781a876b0c34a1b670f,
title = "Importance of the Straits of Florida spawning ground to Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans)",
abstract = "Much of the uncertainty in managing highly migratory pelagic species results from the scarcity of fisheries-independent data relevant to determining long-term trends in abundance, migratory movements, and the relative importance of different spawning grounds. To address these issues, we used an ichthyoplankton-based method to quantify the overall level of spawning of sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) in the Straits of Florida (SF). We estimated that during the 2 years (2003-2004) of the study, 4.60 × 1011 sailfish eggs and 4.49 × 10 11 blue marlin eggs were produced on an annual basis in this region. These egg production values, when combined with estimates of annual fecundity for each species and the most recent stock assessment estimate of total biomass, indicate that about 2.1{\%} of Western Atlantic sailfish spawning and 1.6{\%} of Atlantic-wide blue marlin spawning occurs in the SF. Additionally, pop-up satellite tags deployed on sailfish at the start of the spawning season revealed their short residency times in the SF, suggesting that a large (≈13{\%}) transient portion of the sailfish population is responsible for the SF egg production. Overall, this study provides a critically needed fisheries-independent method of quantifying spatial and temporal trends in the abundance of highly migratory species. The application of this methodology in the SF indicated that above-average levels of sailfish and blue marlin spawning occur in this area and, possibly more importantly, that the SF is a migratory bottleneck for these species.",
keywords = "Billfish, Egg production, Fisheries-independent index, Larval growth, Larval mortality, Migratory bottleneck, Pop-up satellite archival tag",
author = "Richardson, {David E.} and Cowen, {Robert K.} and Prince, {Eric D.} and Su Sponaugle",
year = "2009",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1365-2419.2009.00520.x",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "402--418",
journal = "Fisheries Oceanography",
issn = "1054-6006",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Importance of the Straits of Florida spawning ground to Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans)

AU - Richardson, David E.

AU - Cowen, Robert K.

AU - Prince, Eric D.

AU - Sponaugle, Su

PY - 2009/11/1

Y1 - 2009/11/1

N2 - Much of the uncertainty in managing highly migratory pelagic species results from the scarcity of fisheries-independent data relevant to determining long-term trends in abundance, migratory movements, and the relative importance of different spawning grounds. To address these issues, we used an ichthyoplankton-based method to quantify the overall level of spawning of sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) in the Straits of Florida (SF). We estimated that during the 2 years (2003-2004) of the study, 4.60 × 1011 sailfish eggs and 4.49 × 10 11 blue marlin eggs were produced on an annual basis in this region. These egg production values, when combined with estimates of annual fecundity for each species and the most recent stock assessment estimate of total biomass, indicate that about 2.1% of Western Atlantic sailfish spawning and 1.6% of Atlantic-wide blue marlin spawning occurs in the SF. Additionally, pop-up satellite tags deployed on sailfish at the start of the spawning season revealed their short residency times in the SF, suggesting that a large (≈13%) transient portion of the sailfish population is responsible for the SF egg production. Overall, this study provides a critically needed fisheries-independent method of quantifying spatial and temporal trends in the abundance of highly migratory species. The application of this methodology in the SF indicated that above-average levels of sailfish and blue marlin spawning occur in this area and, possibly more importantly, that the SF is a migratory bottleneck for these species.

AB - Much of the uncertainty in managing highly migratory pelagic species results from the scarcity of fisheries-independent data relevant to determining long-term trends in abundance, migratory movements, and the relative importance of different spawning grounds. To address these issues, we used an ichthyoplankton-based method to quantify the overall level of spawning of sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) in the Straits of Florida (SF). We estimated that during the 2 years (2003-2004) of the study, 4.60 × 1011 sailfish eggs and 4.49 × 10 11 blue marlin eggs were produced on an annual basis in this region. These egg production values, when combined with estimates of annual fecundity for each species and the most recent stock assessment estimate of total biomass, indicate that about 2.1% of Western Atlantic sailfish spawning and 1.6% of Atlantic-wide blue marlin spawning occurs in the SF. Additionally, pop-up satellite tags deployed on sailfish at the start of the spawning season revealed their short residency times in the SF, suggesting that a large (≈13%) transient portion of the sailfish population is responsible for the SF egg production. Overall, this study provides a critically needed fisheries-independent method of quantifying spatial and temporal trends in the abundance of highly migratory species. The application of this methodology in the SF indicated that above-average levels of sailfish and blue marlin spawning occur in this area and, possibly more importantly, that the SF is a migratory bottleneck for these species.

KW - Billfish

KW - Egg production

KW - Fisheries-independent index

KW - Larval growth

KW - Larval mortality

KW - Migratory bottleneck

KW - Pop-up satellite archival tag

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=70349921470&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=70349921470&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1365-2419.2009.00520.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1365-2419.2009.00520.x

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:70349921470

VL - 18

SP - 402

EP - 418

JO - Fisheries Oceanography

JF - Fisheries Oceanography

SN - 1054-6006

IS - 6

ER -