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Volume 44 - Number 3 - 2009

Analysis of the spatial and seasonal variation in catchability of red grouper, Epinephelus morio (Valenciennes, 1828), in the Campeche Bank before overfishing (1973-1977)

Jorge A. López-Rocha1, Mirtha O. Albañez-Lucero2, Francisco Arreguín-Sánchez2 and Juan A. de Anda-Montañez3


1Unidad Multidisciplinaria de Docencia e Investigación, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México,Sisal, Yucatán, C.P. 97130, México
2Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas-IPN, Av. Instituto Politécnico Nacional s/n, Col. Playa Palo de Santa Rita, La Paz, B.C.S. 23096, México
3Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, Mar Bermejo N° 195, Col. Playa Palo de Santa Rita Apdo. Postal 128, La Paz, B.C.S. 23090, México




The red grouper Epinephelus morio fishery in the Campeche Bank, northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, is overfished. The main causes are high fishing pressure in areas of reproductive aggregation and juvenile nursery zones. An analysis of the spatial-seasonal variation in catchability was undertaken using data from 1973 to 1977, with the aim to detect areas of higher vulnerability to fishing, taking into account the red grouper developmental stages (juvenile, pre-adults, and adults). Results showed that the adult catchability was higher during the reproductive period (January-March) in the eastern part of the Campeche Bank. High catchability zones for juveniles were found along the year in coastal areas near Celestún, Dzilam de Bravo, Río Lagartos, and El Cuyo. We recommend these locations to be considered as fishing restricted areas to reduce fishing mortality and promote stock recovery


Key words: Spawning aggregations, fishing restricted areas, vulnerability




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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