(August 25, 2014) In October 2013, a pilot study was launched in Grand Bahama by Bahamian (i.e., Cape Eleuthera Institute, College of The Bahamas, h2obonefishing, Bahamas National Trust, Department of Marine Resources) and international partners (i.e., Fisheries Conservation Foundation, University of Illinois) to determine the movements of adult bonefish during their spawning season.

In June 2014, the study was completed and the findings have been astonishing! Bonefish implanted with transmitters logged more than 26,000 detections on listening stations that were scattered around the island.

What we learned is that some bonefish use the Grand Lucayan Waterway to get from the north side to the south side to spawn. A number of other bonefish tagged on the north side of Grand Bahama made different long distance migrations (>50 miles) around either the east end or west end of the island. These results demonstrate that habitats all along the coast of Grand Bahama (both north and south sides) serve as important movement corridors for adult bonefish during their spawning season.

To keep the multi-million dollar bonefish fishery healthy for years to come, it is imperative to protect these movement corridors. Because it will also be important to protect spawning bonefish, the next step is to expand the study this fall to determine the location of spawning sites.

This information will be provided to the Department of Marine Resources and The Bahamas National Trust.

For more information go to http://www.fishconserve.org and/or contact

Dr. Karen Murchie (College of The Bahamas) – (242) 688-5933
Jason Franklin (h2obonefishing) – (242) 727-1655 or 1-954-364-7590
Aaron Shultz (Cape Eleuthera Institute) (609) 945-0710 or (242) 334-8552 ext. 6001