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Geomorphometric Patterns of Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus) Spawning Aggregation Sites in the Cayman Islands

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Reef fish spawning aggregation sites are essential life habitats vulnerable to exploitation by fishermen, yet no quantitative comparisons of sites exist to understand their geomorphologic patterns. The objective of this study was to evaluate the geospatial aspects of known Nassau grouper spawning aggregation sites in the Cayman Islands. The results illustrate that the five known Nassau grouper spawning aggregation sites are located at convex-shaped reefs within 1 km of reef promontory tips. Further, all sites are found in 25-45 m depth, less than 50 m from shelf edges. Finally, they have been documented as multi-species spawning aggregation sites.
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Keywords: Nassau grouper; bottom morphology; geomorphometry; spawning aggregation; the Cayman Islands

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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