Scientia Marina, Vol 77, No 2 (2013)

Spatial dynamics of the red grouper Epinephelus morio (Pisces: Serranidae) on the Campeche Bank, Gulf of Mexico

Jorge A. López-Rocha
Unidad Multidisciplinaria de Docencia e Investigación, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México , Mexico

Francisco Arreguín-Sánchez
CICIMAR-Instituto Politécnico Nacional , Mexico


The spatial dynamics of the red grouper Epinephelus morio plays a fundamental role in the fishery management on the Campeche Bank, where it is overfished. The objective of this study was to characterize the spatial dynamics of this population. We used a dynamic model of spatial distribution to estimate population movement rates between adjacent areas. The model was applied using information on catch per unit effort and length-frequency distributions for the Mexican mid-sized fleet that operated in the area in the period 1973-1977. These data were chosen to ensure that the information would reflect the condition of the resource before overfishing. It was possible to quantify the spatial dynamics of the red grouper and the results were consistent with previously known movement patterns. The results showed different movement rates and temporal patterns of movement for different population sectors. The spawning aggregations and the seasonal upwelling occurring in the eastern part of the Bank were considered as key factors influencing the pattern of population movements.


red grouper; distribution; spatial model; movement rates; spatial variations; temporal distribution

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