Volume 65

Use of Low-cost Surface Drifters to Study the Dispersal Pathways of Eggs of Cubera Snapper, Lutjanus cyanopterus at Gladden Spit, Belize

Méndez-Jiménez, A. and W.D. Heyman
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Date: November, 2012

Pages: 293 - 294

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

City: Santa Marta

Country: Colombia


Tropical marine conservation depends on understanding the life history of commercially exploited species. The ecology of early life stages is poorly understood for many species so assumptions have been broadly accepted without being field-tested. Such is the case of the impact of surface currents in propagule dispersal from reef fish spawning sites. Though many hypotheses have been proposed, few have actually been evaluated in the field (Pineda et al. 2007). We used surface drifters to make repeated measurements of current movements from the time and location of a snapper spawning aggregation. We also evaluated the use of drifter tracks as a proxy for the dispersal of eggs by conducting a series of quantitative plankton tows at the location of surface drifters as they drifted away from the spawning area.

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