Ahshapanek. Extra Credit News with Fins

Sean Ahshapanek

Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science

Influences of Artificial Reefs on Juvenile Red Snapper along the Mississippi Gulf Coast

May 2,

This article was found in the Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, an Ecosystem on the Fisheries.org website.   According to Brandt and Jackson,” artificial reefs have been constructed and placed in the northern Gulf of Mexico to provide structure for a wide range of reef-associated fish species and to further management goals, such as the enhancement of recreational and commercial fishing and the rehabilitation of depleted fish stock.”   Artificial reefs might have an effect on the environment they inhibit but these are still on debate.   These artificial reefs are said to be found off the Mississippi coast and range along the coast of Alabama.   Along these coast their is species of Lutjanus campechanus, also known as the Red Snapper.   The Red Snapper uses the artificial reefs for shelter and for finding food.   Since Red Snappers are predatory fish and can live up to 50 years of life they have been on the decline over the past years.   Since then they have made little improvements and this includes improvement in the survival of Red Snapper juveniles.

The study area that they used was a location about 40 miles from Pascagoula, Ms.   This was known as artificial reef haven 13 (FH-13).   FH-13 was split into 3 sections, section A, section B and section C.   Each section was different in depth but they all had the same structure which was a sandy and muddy bottom.   Soon as they were marked within sections the artificial reefs were then placed in a pyramid position.   Brandt and Jackson state,” the findings of the this are significant and promising, as few studies have looked at the importance of independent reef unit spacing as it pertains to the relative abundance and length of reef associated juvenile Red Snapper.”   Artificial reefs were concluded that they give Red Snappers a offering of fitness benefits, such as shelter for protection and from predators.

Image from www.mexfish.com

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