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Research Analyzes the Effects of Recreational Fishing and Marine Debris at Marine Sanctuary to Evaluate and Improvement Management Strategies

Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Georgia Southern University, GA Department of Natural Resources, and Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) collaborated last week aboard the R/V Nancy Foster (May 12 – 20) to evaluate the socioeconomic and ecological impacts of recreational fishing on bottom fish and invertebrate communities, and evaluate the efficacy of spatially explicit management decisions at GRNMS. Scientists initiated a hook-and-line sampling study to calculate catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) for key species including red snapper, gag grouper, and scamp. Fish caught were tagged with surgically implanted sonic transmitters enabling scientists to track their movements over the next 2 years. Scientists also revisited marine debris monitoring transects to measure the accumulation rate, impact, and spatial distribution of marine debris in the sanctuary. For additional information, visit http://www.sanctuaries.noaa.gov/missions/2008nancy_foster/summary.html .

Significance: The information gained from this research will improve the management and conservation of natural resources within Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary and may affect future boundary designations for the sanctuary.

Related NCCOS Center(s):
Shorter web link for sharing: http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=1364

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