Study of Fish Distributions and Fishing Locations Will Benefit Research Zone Development, Regulation Changes to Improve Management at Grays Reef
Cneter for NCCOS researchers have published a study of the relationship between fish distributions, fishing locations, and bottom habitats within Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. The findings are being used by sanctuary staff considering the design of a research zone within the sanctuary, and for modifications to current spear-fishing regulations.
The collaborative study—between NCCOS and NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program—provides essential life history information needed to inform management decisions at the scale of the sanctuary and southeastern U.S. continental shelf. The distribution, habitat associations, and population size structure were quantified for three bottom fish (scamp, gag, and black sea bass) commonly targeted by recreational fishermen in the region.