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Population assessment of two stocks of white grunt, Haemulon plumieri, from the southeastern coast of the United States
  • Published Date:
Filetype[PDF - 3.16 MB]

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  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Marine Fisheries Service,
  • Series:
    NOAA technical memorandum NMFS-SEFSC ; 442
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  • Description:
    Changes in the age structure and population size of white grunt, Haemulon plumieri, from North Carolina through the Florida Keys were examined using records of landings and size frequencies of fish from commercial, recreational, and headboat fisheries from 1986-1998. Data were stratified into two geographical areas: North Carolina and South Carolina; and southeast Florida. Population size in numbers at age was estimated for each year and geographical area by applying an uncalibrated separable virtual population analysis (SVPA) to the landings in numbers at age. A calibrated virtual population analysis, FADAPT, was also run for data from North Carolina and South Carolina. SVPA and FADAPT were used to estimate annual, age-specific fishing mortality (F) for four levels of natural mortality (M = 0.20, 0.25, 0.30, and 0.35). The best estimate of M for white grunt is 0.30. Landings of white grunt in the Carolinas for the three fisheries have generally decreased in recent years, but have held fairly steady for the species in southeast Florida. Age at entry and age at full recruitment were age-1 and age-4 for the Carolinas, and age- l and age-3 for southeast Florida. With M = 0.30, levels of fishing mortality (F) on the fully-recruited ages were 0.23 for the Carolinas and 0.33 for southeast Florida. Spawning potential ratio (SPR) at M = 0.30 was 57% for the Carolinas and 61% for southeast Florida, which indicates that the species, by definition, has not been over-exploited by fishing. The results of this assessment of the white grunt population off the Carolinas agree with the recent F/F MSY analysis of white grunt (Anonymous, 1999).

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