Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bonefish Population Fairly Stable, Census Shows

Date:
February 25, 2008
Source:
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Summary:
Results are in from the fifth annual Bonefish Population Census in the Florida Keys. The bonefish population has remained fairly steady from 2006 to 2007, however, the number of volunteers participating in the annual event continues to grow. Recognizing the scientific significance of the census, 72 teams joined the effort, spreading out across 19 zones in four regions from Key Biscayne to the Marquesas.

Robert Schroeder holding a beautiful 16 lb. 3 oz. bonefish caught near Islamorada, Fla.
Credit: Captain S. Dimaura

Results are in from last year's fifth annual Bonefish Population Census in the Florida Keys and the bonefish population has remained fairly steady from 2006, however, the number of volunteers participating in the annual event continues to grow. According to Jerry Ault, Ph.D., University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Professor of Marine Biology and Fisheries, that's exactly the type of fish stock numbers and community involvement he'd like to see.

Related Articles


"As long as the numbers aren't drastically different from year to year, it means that our methods for measuring the bonefish population are working, and that the resource appears to be sustainable," said Ault. "This year's study showed a slight decrease in the numbers of bonefish caught and released during the survey, as well as in the relative density of the bonefish population in the Keys, but this change is relatively stable."

Seventy-two teams joined the effort this year, spread out across 19 zones in four regions (Biscayne, Upper, Middle, and Lower Keys) from Key Biscayne to the Marquesas. Team participation was significantly enhanced by Gary Ellis and guides who fished in the Mercury Cheeca Redbone Tournament out of Islamorada, Fla. During the survey held in late October 2007, bonefish sightings were recorded and reported directly to Ault's team at the Rosenstiel School.

The 2006 census indicated a fishable population over 382,000, while this year's findings point to a very slight decrease in that number estimated at 364,000 bonefish throughout the Florida Keys. The bonefish being calculated are those large enough (i.e. > 14 inches) to be targeted on the flats for catch and release sport fishing.

"What has been exciting about this year's census is that we've had more guides and fisherman involved than ever before," Ault said. "It's becoming even clearer to fishing guides, enthusiasts and environmentalists alike that understanding more about the bonefish population helps, not only the environment and the sport of fishing, but also the state economy in Florida."

"Bonefish bring in roughly $1 billion dollars annually in tourism to the Florida economy, which factored down ends up being $75,000 per fish over its lifetime," Ault added.

Coordinated by Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited (BTU) and the Bonefish and Tarpon Conservation Research Center at the Rosenstiel School, the census aims to document population trends of one of South Florida's most important sport fish. Professional guides from the Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association, the Lower Keys Fishing Guides Association, and the Key Largo Fishing Guides Association provided the census with boats and manpower.

Bonefish are an important "indicator" species, in that they help scientists to better understand the population density of small organisms in the same community, while also providing clues to the overall health of the ecosystem. Declines in the number of indicator species often give early clues that something is adversely affecting the local environment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Bonefish Population Fairly Stable, Census Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080225213628.htm>.
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. (2008, February 25). Bonefish Population Fairly Stable, Census Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080225213628.htm
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Bonefish Population Fairly Stable, Census Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080225213628.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins