A Multidisciplinary Approach to Address Marine Fishery Recruitment Dynamics

Presented by Elizabeth Wallace

Elizabeth Wallace, Christopher Haak, and Aaron Shultz

Marine fisheries, due to the openness and complexity of these systems, require interdisciplinary management approaches. The range of the Atlantic bonefish, Albula vulpes, spans multi-national jurisdictions, adding additional challenges. Practical needs, such as fishery recruitment information, are inherently complex questions that require interdisciplinary data. Integrated approaches incorporating diverse areas of expertise can provide critical information required for effective management. In the recreational bonefish fishery, concern exists due to population declines. However, information regarding recruitment dynamics and regional connectivity via both larval and adult stages are lacking. We are addressing this void through a comprehensive assessment employing ecological, behavioral, molecular, and oceanographic data. Field data collection is targeted based on adult telemetry data, juvenile habitats, and oceanographic models of potential larval dispersal routes. High-resolution genetic data will be used to directly examine population connectivity at local and regional scales. This will provide detailed data regarding the sources of new recruits to the recreational fishery: local, regional, or a combination of these sources. Results will determine the appropriate geographic scale for management actions as well as highlight factors important for conservation and restoration efforts.

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