Survival of Red Grouper (Epinephalus Morio) and Red Snapper (Lutjanus Campechanus) Caught on J-Hooks and Circle Hooks in the Florida Recreational and Recreational-for-Hire Fisheries
Abstract:We documented survival of released sublegal red grouper, Epinephalus morio (valenciennes, 1828), and red snapper, lutjanus campechanus (poey, 1868), caught on circle and j-hooks by recreational anglers in florida waters. Immediate hook mortality was 20.0% for red grouper and 49.1% for red snapper. Delayed (5 d) hook mortality from blood loss of j-hook nicked internal organs differed between red grouper (7%) and red snapper (29%). Delayed mortality from starvation was observed for five emaciated red snapper with severed esophagi from prior hook injuries. Different survival rates were correlated with feeding behavior, jaw morphology, and prey residence time. Mean (±Sd) prey residence time in the mouth was significantly longer for red grouper (6.62 ± 0.42 s) than red snapper (3.73 ± 0.29 s) possibly resulting in more red grouper being mouth hooked than red snapper, which were more likely to swallow bait and become gut hooked. Jaw morphology and feeding behavior may predict release survival for other species. Tag recapture rates used as a surrogate for survival were significantly higher for tagged red grouper initially caught on circle hooks (14.0%, n = 121 recaptures; 863 tagged) than on j-hooks (7.3%, n = 287 recaptures; 3935 tagged). Conversely, recapture rates were significantly higher for red snapper initially caught on j-hooks (12.5%, n = 269 recaptures; 2145 tagged) than circle hooks (8.1%, n = 258 recaptures; 3172 tagged). Mandatory regulations implementing the use of circle hooks when targeting all reef fish species may not provide the intended conservation benefits.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2012
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