[Coral-List] Sharpnose Puffer

sale at uwindsor.ca sale at uwindsor.ca
Thu Jan 1 00:15:06 EST 2009

This is in response to the post from Will Welbourn in Roatan.  He has 
apparently seen the same exceptional recruitment pulse (or a similarly 
timed one) to one first reported to me by Kirah Forman, of Belize 
Fisheries, who is based at Hol Chan.  Subsequently I heard from Gerardo 
Gold of CINVESTAV, Mexico that one of his students had seen large numbers 
of this species from sites between Boca Paila and Akumal on the Yucatan 
east coast.  In both cases the animals were present as very large numbers 
of juveniles, and there was also high mortality possibly from disease, but 
equally likely from starvation.  I checked with a number of other fish 
guys around the world and the consensus was that this species, like other 
relatives among the puffers, filefish and trigger fish, is prone to 
occasional exceptional recruitment events.  The interesting thing to me, 
now that we have heard of similar observations in Roatan, is just how 
extensive has the good recruitment been this autumn?  Are there several 
patches of high recruitment (Mexico, northern Belize, and Roatan) or has 
this species been successful over this relatively enormous swath of the 
western Caribbean?

Peter Sale
Assistant Director
United Nations University -- International Network on Water, Environment 
and Health (UNU-INWEH)

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