Red Snapper Ecology and Fisheries in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico


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William F. Patterson, III, James H. Cowan, Jr., Gary R. Fitzhugh, and David L. Nieland, editors

396 pages, Symposium 60

Published by the American Fisheries Society

Publication date: December 2007

ISBN: 978-1-888569-97-1


Red snapper is among the most ecologically and economically important reef fishes in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Fisheries management for the species also happens to be among the most controversial in the U.S. Gulf red snapper has been estimated to be overfished and undergoing overfishing since at least the late 1980s. Management is complicated, however, because the greatest source of mortality for red snapper is believed to come from shrimp trawl bycatch, not the directed fisheries. Despite all efforts to solve the bycatch problem and otherwise recover red snapper, the stock remains significantly overfished.

Few other species or assemblages have had as many financial resources contributed to improve knowledge of basic population biology, engineer solutions to management issues such as shrimp trawl bycatch, develop state-of-the-art assessment techniques, and implement novel management approaches as has Gulf red snapper. This volume provides the state of knowledge for research on red snapper ecology and fisheries.


Part I-Life History and Ecology

Section Overview (Gary R. Fitzhugh)

A Time Series of Observations on Red Snapper Larvae from SEAMAP Surveys 1982-2003: Seasonal Occurrence, Distribution, Abundance, and Size (Joanne Lyczkowski-Shultz and David S. Hanisko)

Patterns of Habitat Use by Newly Settled Red Snapper in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico (Bert W. Geary, Joseph J. Mikulas, Jr., Jay R. Rooker, André M. Landry, Jr., and Timothy M. Dellapenna)

Video Estimates of Red Snapper and Associated Fish Assemblages on Sand, Shell, and Natural Reef Habitats in the North-Central Gulf of Mexico (R. J. David Wells and James H. Cowan, Jr.)

Swimming Performance and Behavior of Red Snapper: Its Application to Bycatch Reduction (Glenn R. Parsons and Daniel G. Foster)

Seasonal and Size Specific Diet and Prey Demand of Red Snapper on Alabama Artificial Reefs (Jessica R. McCawley and James H. Cowan, Jr.)

Fidelity of Red Snapper to Petroleum Platforms in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (Megan P. Westmeyer, Charles A. Wilson, III, and David L. Nieland)

Factors Affecting Catch and Release (CAR) Mortality in Fish: Insight into CAR Mortality in Red Snapper and the Influence of Catastrophic Decompression (Jodie L. Rummer)

Part II-Population Dynamics and Structure

Section verview (David L. Nieland)

Site Fidelity, Movement, and Growth of Red Snapper: Implications for Artificial Reef Management (Andrew J. Strelcheck, James H. Cowan, Jr., and William F. Patterson, III)

Movers and Stayers: Individual Variability in Site Fidelity and Movements of Red Snapper off Texas (Sandra L. Diamond, Matthew D. Campbell, Derek Olson, Yuning Wang, Jason Zeplin, and Steven Qualia)

An Overview of Age and Growth of Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico (Andrew J. Fischer)

Population Structure of Red Snapper in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (John R. Gold and Eric Saillant)

Demographic Differences in Northern Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Reproductive Maturation: Implications for the Unit Stock Hypothesis (Melissa W. Jackson, James H. Cowan, Jr., and David L. Nieland)

Modeling the Dependence of Batch Fecundity on Size and Age for Use in Stock Assessments of Red Snapper in U.S. Gulf of Mexico Waters (Clay E. Porch, Gary R. Fitzhugh, Michelle S. Duncan, L. A. Collins, and Melissa W. Jackson)

A Review of Movement in Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper: Implications for Population Structure (William F. Patterson, III)

Part III-Fisheries Management and Conservation

Section Overview (James H. Cowan, Jr.)

A History of Red Snapper Management in the Gulf of Mexico (Peter B. Hood, Andrew J. Strelcheck, and Phil Steele)

Indices of Larval Red Snapper Occurence and Abundance for Use in Stock Assessment (David S. Hanisko, Joanne Lyczkowski-Shultz, and G. Walter Ingram)

Red Snapper in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Age and Size Composition of the Commercial Harvest and Mortality of Regulatory Discards (David L. Nieland, Andrew J. Fischer, M. Scott Baker, Jr., and Charles A. Wilson, III)

Temporal Age Progressions and Relative Year-Class Strength of Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper (Robert J. Allman and Gary R. Fitzhugh)

Declining Size at Age Among Red Snapper in the Northern Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana, USA: Recovery or Collapse? (David L. Nieland, Charles A. Wilson, III, and Andrew J. Fischer)

Reconstructing the Commercial Landings of Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico from 1872-1963 (Clay E. Porch, Stephen C. Turner, and Michael J. Schirripa)

An Assessment of the Red Snapper Fishery in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Using a Spatially-Explicit Age-Structed Model (Clay E. Porch)

Rebuilding Red Snapper: Recent Management Activities and Future Management Challenges (Andrew J. Strelcheck and Peter B. Hood)