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Free Content Transboundary movement of sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus, off the Pacific coast of Central America

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The sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus (Shaw in Shaw and Nodder, 1792), is one of the most frequently caught istiophorids along the Pacific coast of Central America. Although conventional constituent-based tagging of sailfish in this region has been ongoing for several decades, little insight has emerged regarding their movements among multinational territorial waters. We used pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) to evaluate questions of management unit for sailfish in this region. A total of 41 PSATs were deployed on sailfish caught with recreational gear off Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama. The 32 deployments that transmitted data yielded displacements (point of release to point of first pop-up transmission) that ranged from 21 to 572 nmi (39–1059 km). Monitoring durations ranged from 5 to 118 d, for a total aggregate of 1571 d. More than half of the deployments (22 of 32, or 68%) resulted in displacement vectors outside the EEZ or territorial waters of the country of tagging (lower bounds estimate). In addition, upper bounds estimates of tracks using two algorithms ranged from 57 to 65 transboundary crossings; average days to make a transboundary crossing ranged from 12 to 20 d, respectively. Given the relatively short residence time in the national waters of tagging, these movements strongly suggest that this resource requires management at the regional rather than national level.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-11-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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