REEF at the Gray's Reef NMS

REEF Stats

Top 10 Most Frequently Sighted Fish
  1. Slippery Dick
  2. Belted Sandfish
  3. Cocoa Damselfish
  4. Blue Angelfish
  5. Sheepshead
  6. Tomtate
  7. Black Sea Bass
  8. Great Barracuda
  9. Spottail Pinfish
  10. Cubbyu

Educational Resources

The Bridge Data Tip - features a series of activities to explore the habitats and associated fish communities of three of the twelve marine sanctuaries.

About the Sanctuary

Gray's Reef is located 18 miles off the coast of Georgia. The area was formed from an ancient coastline and features sandstone outcroppings and ledges up to ten feet in height. The benthic habitat is known as "live-bottom" and is covered with hard and soft corals, sponges, and hydroids. Its location combines temperate and tropical qualities. GRNMS Website

Current and Past REEF Projects

2002 - 2006 - REEF Advanced Assessment Team Monitoring Projects


Fish Features

The six species featured represent some of the most common fishes found in the MBNMS and also some of the most interesting. Black Sea Bass: This fish is both economically and ecologically important part of the north Atlantic ecosystem. The white margins on the tail are a good visual clue to its identification. Slippery Dick: This is the most frequently sighted species at Gray's Reef. It is a medium sized wrasse that maintains harems. While diving you will see many of the pale colored initial phase individuals and fewer of the brightly colored terminal males (pictured). Atlantic Spadefish: These are typically found in medium to large schools in open water. They get their name from their body shape that resembles a spade on playing cards.
Cubbyu: This is a member of the drum family and can be found hanging out near overhangs and ledges. All drums have "teeth" on the roof of their mouth and tongue that are used to make a drumming sound. Gag Grouper: This grouper is commonly seen in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Eastern US, but are rare in the warmer waters of Florida and the Caribbean. Like most grouper, they form spawning aggregations that are vulnerable to overharvesting. Seaweed Blenny: This small but charismatic fish is found darting around the bottom and poking their heads from holes. The branched cirri ("eyelashes") above their head and blue lines on their cheek are good visual clues to identification.
Design by Joanne Kidd, development by Ben Weintraub