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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spawning Aggregation of Reef fishes

To all our blog followers that may have read the article about Fish Aggregations last year, we are very glad to inform that this week our main partners Amigos de Sian Ka’an AC (ASK) went again to Punta Allen community in the Sian Ka’an reserve in order to continue with the Spawning Aggregation of Reef Fishes (SPAGS) project which started last year and is having very promising results!

SPAGS are brief events where many reef fishes, including larger species of commercial interest, gather in high densities to reproduce (spawn). This is a very important project for ASK and GVI as these events take place only a few limited months of the year, and within each month of occurrence, aggregations typically remain from few days to few weeks, entrained to the lunar cycle. Some species migrate long distances to the aggregation sites. Groupers, Snappers and Jacks are examples of fish groups showing this behaviour. Spawning aggregations are quite important to sustain many fish species and their fisheries, although the increase in the fishing volumes has generated unprecedented pressures on these aggregations which are particularly vulnerable to overfishing. Without conservation and management measures, these aggregations may disappear completely as most known ones are declining.

Amigos de Sian Ka´an, in partnership with TNC, GVI and the local communities, is working actively to find, identify and validate aggregation sites in order to contribute to the protection and persistence of these valuable reef fish populations in the state of Quintana Roo, particularly in the region comprising the Sian Ka´an Biosphere Reserve, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Snorkelqueen said...

I love the fact that there is a name for this behavior since I'm a biologist wanna-be. I live in Placer, just about 10 km South of the GVI site. I know of an Aggregation site. Pretty much year round, but right now there are a ton of bar jack, yellow tailed snapper, Parrot fish, chub and school master - I could go on. I would love to have it reviewed by someone - how?

Daniel said...

Hi Snorlequeen! Thanks for your comment and the information provided! Amigos de Sian Ka'an, and GVI, woulfd be VERY interested in the information you have. The best thing is for you to email me at and I can pass on the information to the relevant guys at Amigos de Sian Ka'an, so we can organize a visit to check it out! Thanks so much