Areas of Focus for Grouper Moon Programs
The Importance of Grouper Moon
Since 2002, REEF's Grouper Moon Project has researched support of Nassau Grouper conservation in the Cayman Islands. During winter full moons, Nassau Grouper travel great distances to meet as spawning aggregations and reproduce. This species has suffered dramatic declines in populations due to fishing on spawning sites. In partnership with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment and academic scientists, this project aims to study this social and ecological cornerstone of Caribbean coral reefs.
Nearly one-half of the known Caribbean Nassau Grouper spawning sites are now inactive due to overfishing. The Cayman Islands used to be home to five Nassau Grouper spawning sites. Today, four of these sites are dormant or depleted. On the west end of Little Cayman Island, one site is home to one of the last great reproductive populations of this endangered species. The Nassau Grouper is a leading example of the impacts overfishing has on marine fish populations, and unfortunately, is not the only species affected by this practice. Learn about how scientists and researchers are protecting and monitoring Nassau Grouper populations and spawning sites and practices we can implement as individuals to promote sustainable fisheries.
Technology in Conservation
REEF, the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, and scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Oregon State University have been conducting innovative research on Nassau Grouper genetics, reproductive biology, and behavioral ecology for over a decade in the Cayman Islands. Discover how technology benefits conservation and research and what specific research components are being used for the Grouper Moon Project.