55 Proceedings of the Fifty Fifth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute-- Xel HaMexico
Artificial Reefs, Blackfin Snapper, Snowy Grouper, Arrecifes artificiales, Chillo oreja negra, Mero
The inshore environment of Broward County, Florida consists of three reef tracts, each separated by sand substrate, running parallel to the coastline in sequentially deeper water. A wide variety of artificial reef designs have been deployed in Broward County, many lying in sand flats between the reeftracts. From 1995 through 2002, over 1,100 visual fish censuses (predominantly point-counts) were completed on the three natural reeftracts in water depths from 3 m to 30 m and over 1,100 censuses were done on artificial reefs at depths of 7 m to 23 m. Curiously, the juvenile stages of two deeper-water species of the snapper/grouper complex, the blackfin snapper (Lutjanus buccanella) and the snowy grouper (Epinephelus niveatus), appear to prefer artificial reefs located in the sand flat separating the second and third reeftracts to nearby natural reef areas. Five hundred and forty blackfin snapper have been recorded in 64 visual censuses and nine snowy grouper have been observed in seven counts on artificial reefs. Despite the large volume of visual census data collected thus far, these two species have never been recorded on nearby natural reef tracts. The reasons for this unanticipated observation is unclear but it provides an excellent launch-point for an examination of juvenile habitat requirements, natural availability of these requirements, and the potential for artificial substrate to be used in managing these species.
Arena, Paul T.; Quinn, Patrick; Jordan, Lance K. B.; Sherman, Robin L.; Harttung, Fleur M.; and Spieler, Richard E., "Presence of Juvenile Blackfin Snapper, Lutjanus buccanella, and Snowy Grouper, Epinephelus niveatus, on Shallow-water Artificial Reefs" (2004). Oceanography Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures. 64.