Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


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Published in the Proceedings of the 61st Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GFCI:61) (held November 10-14, 2008, Gosier, Guadeloupe, French West Indies), published 2009, p. 149-155. Abstract and keywords also in Spanish and French. Copyright 2009, Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute. Used by permission.


Red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) is a valuable commercial and recreational species throughout the southeastern United States and Caribbean. Recent reports of reduction in red snapper stock sizes throughout this range highlight the necessity for a better understanding of the biology of the species. Except for Florida panhandle red snapper, little is known of the reproduction of red snapper off Florida. We collected red snapper from recreational-for-hire boats in two distinct areas of Florida to examine potential regional differences in their reproductive biology. Samples were obtained from the Florida East Coast (EC—St. Augustine to Melbourne, N = 66) from June – November 2004 – 2005 and from the Dry Tortugas (DT, N = 81) during May, June, and August 2004-2005. Females from EC were spawning capable and actively spawning from June – October, with peaks in GSI values in July and September. Females from DT were spawning capable and actively spawning in June and August. Males were spawning capable from June – October in EC and in May, June and August in DT. There was a significant relationship between length and batch fecundity for red snapper from EC but not from DT. Relative fecundity estimates were low in DT fish (27 ± 11 eggs/g) relative to 235 ± 56 eggs/g in EC fish but similar to those reported from Alabama. Spawning frequency estimates varied from every 2.2 days in EC to every 4.3 days in DT. The apparent regional differences in reproductive biology among Florida red snapper may require region-specific management plans for this species.

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