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SEAFWA 2018 has ended
The following schedule is from the 72nd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies which was held October 21-24, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. 
Wednesday, October 24 • 9:40am - 10:00am
SYMPOSIUM-06: Developing a regional network of ‘sentinel’ sites: monitored multi-species fish spawning aggregation sites throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the wider Caribbean to evaluate site fidelity, connectivity, and to contribute to regional fisheries

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AUTHORS: William D. Heyman, LGL Ecological Research Associates, Inc.; Christopher Biggs, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Marine Science; Shin Kobara, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS), Texas A&M University; Nick Farmer, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office; Arnaud Grüss, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington; Mandy Karnauskas, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center; Sue Lowerre-Barbieri, Fisheries and Aquatic Science Program, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida; Brad Erisman, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Marine Science

ABSTRACT: Many species of coastal and reef fishes congregate at specific times and places for reproduction in fish spawning aggregations (FSAs). These sites can attract intensive fishing pressure. Recent research indicates that many sites serve as multi-species FSAs, where tens of species from various families aggregate according to specific seasonal, lunar and diel cycles. Recent studies funded by the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program illustrated that multi-species FSA sites occur within two distinctive bands in the Gulf of Mexico: one along the coast and another at the shelf edge. Coastal species, including spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), form FSAs in coastal channel passes and along associated jetties. By contrast, members of the snapper-grouper-jack complex, including mutton snapper (Lutjanus analis), cubera snapper (L. cyanopterus), gag (Mycteroperca microlepis), scamp (M. phenax), black grouper (M. bonaci), and greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili), form multi-species FSAs along the continental shelf edge, associated with abrupt discontinuities in bottom structure. Our intention is to work with stakeholders throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the wider Caribbean to characterize and monitor a network of ‘sentinel’ sites at multi-species FSAs, using a suite of physical and biological monitoring tools. Acoustic telemetry will form a key component of the monitoring program that will also include underwater passive and active acoustics, CTDs, and acoustic Doppler current meters. Monitoring and management of the network of sites will generate data that that will be shared with a regional network of partners and be used to support stock assessments and integrated ecosystem-based fisheries management efforts.

Wednesday October 24, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am
Grand Bay I