Volume 60

Phylogeography of the Goliath Grouper, Epinephelus itajara: A Preliminary Analysis of Genetic Connectivity in an Endangered Marine Fish

Matthew, C.
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Date: November, 2007

Pages: 615

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

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Goliath grouper, Epinephelus itajara, is widely distributed throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, western Atlantic from Florida to Brazil, eastern Atlantic from Senegal to the Congo and eastern Pacific from the Gulf of California to Peru. This broadly distributed species presents challenges to biogeographic paradigms for marine fishes, particularly given its presence on both sides of the Panamanian Isthmus. As a long-lived, aggregating, and docile species, it is the target of intense fishing pressure and has been listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Given is vulnerability to the effects of overfishing, there is an urgent need to assess phylogeographic patterns and degree of genetic connectivity between distant populations. The present study provides a preliminary analysis of these factors based on mitochondrial DNA sequences.

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