Volume 72

The need to check the connectivity of Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) in Central America due to inconsistencies in their fishing regulations

Tisseaux Navarro, A; S. Cambronero Solano
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 373

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Tarpon is a worldwide known species for its ecological and economic importance. This species native to the Atlantic is a key species for tourism in many areas of Central America, generating employment in areas where there are not many economic possibilities. In this work we carry out a literature review of the management that is currently given to Tarpon in different areas of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua. We find that, despite its importance, the legislation for its conservation in Central America is contradictory, there are areas where its fishing is fully regulated, even establishing strict guidelines on fishing and release techniques, and conversely there are places where they are hunted to market their meat. In addition, due to the Panama Channel, they have crossed into the Pacific, becoming an introduced species in this area, so there are conflicting positions about whether they should be extracted or conserved and even used as a sport fishing species in the Pacific. That is why it is of the utmost importance to establish what the connectivity of the populations is or to clarify if it is a single population, since this would justify major changes in the management that is currently being given to this species in Central America. We propose a genetic and ecological approach to address these facts that remain unclear in the absence of proper data and management.

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