I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On The Ocean. Are you a fan of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico? Then you probably have heard of the grouper. Making for an exciting fishing experience, groupers are known for their aggressive behavior when on the other end of a fishing rod. Six of the most common groupers that can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico are the Black, Gag, Red, Scamp, Snowy, and Warsaw groupers. While the juveniles are commonly found in the shallow grassy seabeds and tidal pools near the shoreline, mature groupers are mostly found deeper near coral reefs within tropical waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. They are characteristically seen with a bulky body and a large mouth that is able to protrude their jaw outwards to grab or suck in their prey. They use rows of teeth in their throat that can act similarly to a bird’s gizzard, crushing prey for easier digestion. While the commercial season for groupers is throughout the year, recreational fishing is restricted between February 1st and March 31st. Since this is when almost all grouper species breed, sexually mature adults will aggregate in large groups for reproduction making them easy catches for fishermen. Various Parks and Wildlife departments have barred fishing for groupers at that time due to overfishing. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.
Oyster dining is usually considered a “luxury” to many. As a product of a commercial fishery, the Eastern Oyster, formally known as Crassostrea virginica, and commonly known as the American Oyster, Atlantic Oyster or the American cupped oyster, can be found in estuaries on the United State’s East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, West Indies and the coast of Brazil year round. The Eastern Oyster has a two shells with smooth edges called “valves” attached by a large muscle and takes two years to get up to a harvestable size. They can be grown off the bottom of the ocean floor in cages, in rack-and-bag systems, or in floats near the surface, but can be caught by an oyster dredge, which is a basket attached to a toothed bar and scraped off the bottom. By-catch of oysters is rare due to potential damage to the nets used in other fisheries. Currently, the Eastern Oyster’s total harvest comprises 70% of all oyster harvest, about 22 million pounds per year, but the demand of this fishery has decreased due to harvesting, disease, and changes in water quality. Oyster farming has a benign ecological footprint, especially since its aquaculture meets the demands of the fishery and helps restore oyster reef habitats. Its aquaculture is regulated by local and federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish & Wildlife Service, the Food and Drug administration, and others. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.
Have you ever wanted to taste the fruit of the sea? It’s shrimp! According to Bubba Blue (from forest gump), you can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, and sauté it. Farfantepenaeus duorarum, commonly known as pink shrimp, is found in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. They’re crustaceans that vary in color from pink to gray, depending on what they eat. The main identifying feature to distinguish this shrimp from other shrimp is a dark spot and a dark blue band located on their tail. The pink shrimp is commercially caught by trawls that are towed near the ocean floor. These trawls are nets that are wide in the front and tapered towards the back. Though there are moderate concerns, shrimping tends to damage shallow coastal areas due to the dragging of the nets. Another issue due to the shrimp fishery is the bycatch of other fish and turtles. Bycatch is the unintended catching of other organisms that were not meant to be fished for. But current management practices have made the fishery more sustainable and environmental friendly. The NOAA Fisheries, the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils nationally control this fishery. These managements measures includes a mandatory permit, bycatch reduction device, turtle excluder devices, equipment regulation restrictions, catch reporting, and the closure of seasons over fishing and severe weather. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council capped the number of vessels allowed to shrimp, as well as issuing a 10-year moratorium on commercial shrimp vessel permits. Due to successful management practices, the pink shrimp population is stable and continues to be major food source. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.
I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On the Ocean. Shooting by at a whopping 48 miles perhour and weighing up to 160 pounds, the Atlantic Wahoo is a fish not to be trifled with.
Wahoos, known by their scientific name as Acanthocybium solandri, tend to travel alone
or in loose groups and are found in tropical and subtropical waters. They live close to
the surface, preferentially around banks, pinnacles, and natural debris drifting along in
the ocean.Also known as the Ono fish in Hawaiian, the Atlantic Wahoo is a highly migratory species, traveling up to 1,700 miles in a matter of 6 ½ months. Mainly feeding on squid and smaller fish, the Atlantic Wahoo has been known to take down bigger fish by using its incredibly sharp teeth to reduce its prey into bite-sized pieces. This fish reproduces quickly and effectively, laying eggs multiple times throughout its spawning season and producing up to 1.1 million eggs per clutch. Along with their high reproduction rates, their high fishing rates are carefully managed under the NOAA Fisheries and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
This delectable fish is highly sought after, particularly for recreational fishing, in which it
is caught via hook-and-line gear, careful longline fishing, and spearfishing. The Wahoo
fishing season ranges from May to November, peaking in the September to October
months. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of
Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University
in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and
click On the Ocean.
Authors: Allison McGrath & Cole Larzelere
For more information on the fishing season for the Atlantic Wahoo and tips on hooking
one of them:
For more general information regarding this fish: