Volume 60

Meros Do Brasil Project: Web-Based Mapping of Goliath Grouper Distribution in Brazil

Daros, F., A. Andrade Bertoncini, Gerhardinger, L.C., J. Rodrigues Leite, and M. Hostim-Silva.
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Date: November, 2007

Pages: 616

Event: Proceedings of the Sixtieth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Since 2002, the Meros do Brasil Project has been consolidating a national network of organizations working towards Goliath Grouper conservation and research. In Brazil, a federal decree established a goliath grouper fishing moratorium for five years in order to allow for the species recovery and research on its status along the coast. Since the in situ observation of these fishes are becoming rarer in the country, the creation of a web-based questionnaire (www.merosdobrasil.org/ participe.php) to obtain informal data (ex. divers) made possible the devise of a preliminary map of the species distribution along the Brazilian coast. The contributions consist of information such as site location, habitat use, depth, number of individuals sighted, total length and reaction to the presence of divers. Preliminary data gathered since 2004 shows that most sightings were in northeast Brazil. In the south, the number of specimens seen was higher. However in few sites, tree or more goliath grouper were seen at the same time. 62 % of the total sightings (n = 38) permitted an approach of the diver and 18% the diver made physical contact. Most of the fishes were noticed out of shelters, in sandy, rocky substrates or artificial structures, where the depth varied from 1 - 30 m deep. In the next stage, media communication strategies will aim to engage 1500 divers in the systematic collection of data. Among the expected results we detach the generation of thematic maps on: 1) habitat use; 2) potential areas for the underwater tourism; 3) priority areas for species research and conservation.

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