Billfish movements relative to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas management areas, as well as U.S. domestic data collection areas within the western North Atlantic basin, were investigated with mark-recapture data from 769 blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, 961 white marlin, Tetrapturus albidus, and 1,801 sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus. Linear displacement between release and recapture locations ranged from zero (all species) to 15,744 km (mean 575, median 119, SE 44) for blue marlin, 6,523 km (mean 719, median 216, SE 33) for white marlin, and 3,845 km (mean 294, median 98, SE 13)for sailfish. In total, 2,824 (80.0%) billfish were recaptured in the same management area of release. Days at liberty ranged from zero (all species) to 4,591 (mean 619, median 409, SE 24) for blue marlin, 5,488 (mean 692, median 448, SE 22) for white marlin and 6,568 (mean 404, median 320, SE 11) for sailfish. The proportions (per species) of visits were highest in the Caribbean area for blue marlin and white marlin, and the Florida East Coast area for sailfish. Blue marlin and sailfish were nearly identical when comparing the percent of individuals vs. the number of areas visited. Overall, white marlin visited more areas than either blue marlin or sailfish. Seasonality was evident for all species, with overall results generally reflecting the efforts of the catch and release recreational fishing sector particularly in the western North Atlantic. This information may be practical in reducing the uncertainties in billfish stock assessments and may offer valuable insight into management consideration of time-area closure regulations to reduce bycatch mortality of Atlantic billfishes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Marine Fisheries Review|
|State||Published - Oct 2 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science
- Agronomy and Crop Science