Areas of Focus for Grouper Moon Programs
The Importance of Grouper Moon
Since 2002, REEF's Grouper Moon Project has carried out research in 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 is aimed at studying this social and ecological corner stone of Caribbean cora 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. But one site, on the west end of Little Cayman Island, is home to one of the last great reproductive populations of this endangered species. The Nassau Grouper are a leading example of the impacts overfishing has on marine fish populations, and unfortunately are not the only species affected by this practice. Learn about how scientists and researchers are protecting and monitoring Nassau Grouper populations and spawning sites, as well as 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 ecoloy for well 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.