Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus) were historically one of the most important shallow water fisheries in the Caribbean, yet now are rarely taken. Although normally solitary, during the winter full moon Nassau grouper attend aggregations at spawning site to reproduce. Now, however, there are only a handful of known Nassau Grouper aggregations with more than 1,000 fish left in the Caribbean. Why has the species declined so precipitously, and what can be done to reverse the trend? These topics were explored during a presentation given by Grouper Moon researchers at the 2007 Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute conference. The researchers presented recent and on-going research into the behavior and ecology of Nassau Grouper as part of the Grouper Moon Project, and highlight the conservation implications of this work. They also discussed critical research needs in the ongoing effort to identify prudent conservation measures for this species, including:
i) Habitat capacity – work to link Nassau grouper abundance/distributions with key habitat charac- teristics,
ii) Depensation – investigate spawning behaviors in places where spawning aggregations have been fished to exhaustion, and
iii) Recruitment variability – conduct genetic and otolith analyses to gain a better handle on relatedness of spawning stocks and the periodicity of recruitment pulses.