2001 White Grunt Stock Assessment

This summary report to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission discusses the status of the white grunt, Haemulon plumeri, on the east coast of Florida.

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A summary of the status of the white grunt,
Haemulon plumeri, from the east coast of Florida

Janaka A. de Silva and Michael D. Murphy
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Florida Marine Research Institute
St. Petersburg, FL
September 6, 2001

SUMMARY

White grunt, (Haemulon plumieri) is a tropical and warm-temperate water species that occurs on the Atlantic coast of the US from Virginia to Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico, throughout the Caribbean, and south to Brazil (Hoese and Moore 1998). Recently, three distinct lineages of white grunt have been identified through mitochondrial DNA analysis (Chapman et al.,1999): 1) a northern type found from the Carolinas south to the Florida Keys, and in Panama City, Gulf of Mexico; 2) a southern form found in the Florida Keys, Yucatan, Belize and Puerto Rico; and 3) a third form found exclusively in Trinidad (Chapman et al., 1999). In the southeastern United States, grunts, and in particular white grunt, are important in commercial and recreational fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS 1998). In Florida, the majority of white grunt in the recreational catch and the commercial catch are taken off the west coast in the Gulf of Mexico (Murphy et al., 1999).

Currently, white grunt are an unregulated species (no bag- or size-limit) in the commercial and recreational fisheries in Florida. This report summarizes recent information on the biology and stock of white grunt off the Atlantic coast of Florida. The report also provides an overview of the trends in the recreational and commercial fisheries for white grunt on the Atlantic coast of Florida.

In 1999, a stock assessment of white grunt in Florida was conducted (Murphy et al. 1999). While that assessment primarily concentrated on white grunt on the west coast of Florida, an assessment for the Atlantic coast was also included. However, the biological information used in that assessment were derived from the life history characteristics of white grunt in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (Murie and Parkyn, 1999). In addition, the National Marine Fisheries Service has also recently conducted a population assessment of white grunt, which included a specific assessment for the Atlantic coast of Florida (Potts, 2000).


For other information:
Stock assessments for finfish and invertebrate


Prior to July 1, 2004, the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute was known as the Florida Marine Research Institute. The institute name has not been changed in historical articles and articles that directly reference work done by the Florida Marine Research Institute.



FWC Facts:
The FWC’s Angler Tag Return Hotline, 800-367-4461, collects data regarding tagged fish that anglers have captured or sighted in Florida waters.

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