Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Social Circle, GA, United States

Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Social Circle, GA, United States
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Mathies N.H.,Savannah State University | Ogburn M.B.,Smithsonian Environmental Research Center | McFall G.,Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary | Fangman S.,Savannah State University
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2014

Historically, acoustic telemetry studies tracking movement of aquatic organisms have lacked rigorous, long-term evaluations of detection range. The purpose of the present study was to identify potential sources of variability in long-term acoustic telemetry data, focusing specifically on environmental variability. The study was conducted for 15 mo in Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, Georgia, USA, using 2 submersible Vemco VR2W hydrophone receivers and 2 stationary range test transmitters (controls). Tag detections (±1 SE) decreased from 54.2 ± 2.5 to 11.4 ± 0.5 detections d-1 as transmission distance increased from 100 to 300 m. Detections varied seasonally (likely due to stratification), with the direction of flood and ebb tidal currents (12.4 h cycle), and with tidal current speed (6.2 h cycle). Tides explained up to 92% of the short-term variability in hourly detection data. Detections also increased or decreased during episodic weather events depending on the season and type of event. These results suggest that stationary control tags are useful for characterizing variability in sound transmission in open water marine acoustic telemetry studies. © Inter-Research 2014.


Friess C.,College of Charleston | Sedberry G.R.,Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2011

Mitochondrial control region sequences of 141 alfonsino Beryx decadactylus sampled off the coast of South Carolina were compared with 164 sequences from B. decadactylus collected in the Azores for inferring population structure and demographic history of this deep-water teleost in the North Atlantic Ocean. Analysis of molecular variance showed that 100% of the genetic variation was found within populations, indicating an absence of population structure (ΦST = -0· 003). Neutrality tests and mismatch distribution analyses of pooled sequences suggested that B. decadactylus in the North Atlantic Ocean have undergone population expansion. These results may indicate that transatlantic gene flow occurs, possibly through passive drift of larvae or adult migration. The potential of a shared stock between the eastern and western North Atlantic Ocean will need to be considered if a directed fishery for B. decadactylus were to develop in the U.S.A. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


Friess C.,College of Charleston | Sedberry G.R.,Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Fishery Bulletin | Year: 2011

Red bream (Beryx decadactylus) is a commercially important deep-sea benthopelagic fish with a circumglobal distribution on insular and continental slopes and seamounts. In the United States, small numbers are caught incidentally in the wreckfish (Polyprion americanus) fishery which operates off the southeastern coast, but no biological information exists for the management of the U.S. red bream population. For this study, otoliths (n=163) and gonads (n=161) were collected from commercially caught red bream between 2003 and 2008 to determine life history parameters. Specimens ranged in size from 410 to 630 mm fork length and were all determined to be mature by histological examination of the gonads. Females in spawning condition were observed from June through September, and reproductively active males were found year-round. Sectioned otoliths were difficult to interpret, but maximum age estimates were much higher than the 15 years previously reported for this species from the eastern North Atlantic based on whole-otolith analysis. Estimated ages ranged from 8 to 69 years, and a minimum lifespan of 49 years was validated by using bomb radiocarbon dating. Natural mortality was estimated at 0.06/yr. This study shows that red bream are longer lived and more vulnerable to overfishing than previously assumed and should be managed carefully to prevent overexploitation.


Fautin D.,University of Kansas | Dalton P.,University of Washington | Incze L.S.,University of Southern Maine | Leong J.-A.C.,Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology | And 14 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Marine biodiversity of the United States (U.S.) is extensively documented, but data assembled by the United States National Committee for the Census of Marine Life demonstrate that even the most complete taxonomic inventories are based on records scattered in space and time. The best-known taxa are those of commercial importance. Body size is directly correlated with knowledge of a species, and knowledge also diminishes with distance from shore and depth. Measures of biodiversity other than species diversity, such as ecosystem and genetic diversity, are poorly documented. Threats to marine biodiversity in the U.S. are the same as those for most of the world: overexploitation of living resources; reduced water quality; coastal development; shipping; invasive species; rising temperature and concentrations of carbon dioxide in the surface ocean, and other changes that may be consequences of global change, including shifting currents; increased number and size of hypoxic or anoxic areas; and increased number and duration of harmful algal blooms. More information must be obtained through field and laboratory research and monitoring that involve innovative sampling techniques (such as genetics and acoustics), but data that already exist must be made accessible. And all data must have a temporal component so trends can be identified. As data are compiled, techniques must be developed to make certain that scales are compatible, to combine and reconcile data collected for various purposes with disparate gear, and to automate taxonomic changes. Information on biotic and abiotic elements of the environment must be interactively linked. Impediments to assembling existing data and collecting new data on marine biodiversity include logistical problems as well as shortages in finances and taxonomic expertise. © 2010 Fautin et al.


Goldman S.F.,South Carolina Department of Natural Resources | Sedberry G.R.,Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2011

The feeding habits of several demersal fish on the upper continental slope were investigated to determine the trophic relationships of these ecologically dominant and commercially important species, and to determine food sources for slope fish off the southeastern United States. Stomach contents were examined from 534 fish, including wreckfish (Polyprion americanus), barrelfish (Hyperoglyphe perciformis), and red bream (Beryx decadactylus). Fish fed on 46 prey taxa, and there were dietary differences among predators. Wreckfish predominantly consumed teleost fish and squid; barrelfish had a diet dominated by pelagic tunicates and some mesopelagic fish and squid; red bream consumed mainly fish, squid, and crustaceans. Seasonal shifts in diet were observed in all three species. Many of the prey items encountered were vertically migrating organisms, which are a critical link between surface waters and the slope ecosystem. © 2010 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford Journals. All rights reserved.

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