Volume 66

Emigration, Immigration, and Internal Movements of Dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) in the Bahamas

Merten, W., R. Appeldoorn, and D. Hammond
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Date: November, 2013

Pages: 518 – 519

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty six Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Corpus Christy

Country: USA


We used a combination of conventional mark and recapture data (n = 35 recaptures), satellite data (n = 2 transmitters), and surface drifter data (n = 144) to examine dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) movements relative to the Bahamian archipelago. Movement speeds and headings were dependent upon the location of tagging. Movements within the Bahamas were to the south within the archipelago in the Tongue of the Ocean (TOTO), Northeast Providence Channel, and Exuma Sound (ES), ranging from 4-23 days at liberty (DAL). However, the majority of dolphinfish released in the TOTO showed little net dispersal (< 1 km) after 5 - 77 DAL with only three movements to locations outside. Emigration from the Bahamas toward the U.S. east coast was not random and occurred most frequently for fish released north of Great Abaco and Eleuthera Islands; fish were recaptured near Cape Canaveral, FL, Charleston, SC, Wilmington and Hatteras Bight, NC, and southeast of George’s Bank after 14 - 58 DAL. Fishery-dependent and independent movements, and surface drifters, revealed dolphinfish enter the Bahamas via the Northwest Providence Channel in the west, north of the Little Bahama Bank, northeast of Eleuthera to Long Island, and east from north or south of Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. Understanding the movements of dolphinfish relative to the Bahamas should facilitate regional stock assessments by revealing regional stock connectivity through in space and time. Importantly, these observations are potentially key for understanding large scale dolphinfish movements and stock structure in the northwest Atlantic and northern Caribbean.

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