Sampling Techniques for the Enumeration of Juvenile Fish

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Curtis Burney


Commercial and recreational fisheries are important to the economy of the United States. Almost 3 0 percent of the total catch for the United States comes from Florida waters (Lindall & Saloman, 1977; Ingmanson & Wallace, 1989). It is estimated that between 70 and 90% of these commercially valuable fish caught in offshore waters spend some portion of their life cycle in an estuary (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1984). It is during juvenile stages that most fish are estuarine dependent. Many South Florida estuaries are mangrove swamps. A significant portion of the juvenile life cycle of commercially important fish are spent in or near the prop roots of the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle (Odum, 1984). The mangrove estuary provides the food, shelter, and protection for juvenile fish in the state of Florida (Thayer et al., 1987; Odum, 1984). Thayer et al. states that the red mangrove prop root habitat is of major importance for a wide variety of fishes and that this habitat appears to support an overall greater density of standing crop biomass of fishes.

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