Change in Grouper (Serranidae) Stocks in Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo (Puerto Rico): A Test of Two Databases
This assessment focuses in documenting and interpreting the status of fish stocks of the Serranidae family in landing areas used by commercial fishermen in Puerto Real, a coastal locality in the municipality of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. Two different Governmental data bases have been used with the aim of determining the feasibility of cross comparison for analyzing temporal and spatial variability of fish stocks and catchin the selected area. This exercise is part of an on going dissertation research which intends to reveal some specificities of the interplay between human behavior and the evironmental factors as the central explanation for the known decrease of coral reef fish stocks in Puerto Rico. Various general explanations previously suggested for the decrease of fish stocks in the island are the loss and degradation of habitats, overfishing, and climate change. In order to propose fresh interpretations on this matter, our on going dissertation research will be integrating, among other things, independent abundance assessment using the SEAMAP (Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program, National Marine Fisheries Service) data base and the commercial catch statistics collected by the FRL (Fisheries Research Laboratory, Department of Natural and Environmental Resources). These results will test the viability of using different data bases and statistical procedures for further research phases of the dissertation plan.