Principal Investigator: Ernst Peebles, University of South Florida
Co-Investigators: Mya Breitbart, University of South Florida; Steven Murawski, University of South Florida; Christopher Stallings, University of South Florida; Kevin Boswell, Florida International University; James Locascio, Mote Marine Laboratory;
Funding Source: Florida Restore Act Centers of Excellence Program
The Spawning Habitat and Early-Life Linkages to Fisheries (SHELF) project, is led by Ernst Peebles at the University of South Florida aims to develop innovative approaches that independently estimate stock sizes for Florida’s offshore reef fish using the Daily Egg Production Method (DEPM). It will also add technical improvements to existing tactics for understanding the causes of year-to-year variation in fish abundance. The data collected by the SHELF project will be synthesized with existing ocean observation systems and integrated into operational fisheries assessment and ecosystem models. The proposed work is aimed at snappers, groupers, and other large reef fish in an effort to provide viable alternatives to the often controversial assessment methods that are currently used. Its primary goals are (1) to develop a monitoring system that can explain and possibly lead to the prediction of variation in year-class strength, and (2) to develop practical methods for fisheries-independent stock assessments.
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