Fish Spawning Aggregations in Roatan FSA
WHAT ARE THEY?
A fish Spawning Aggregation is as the word mention it’s an aggregation of fish, they come all over from different parts of the island and they aggregate in one space they’re there for one purpose only which is to reproduce.
You’re going to have groupers and snappers spawning and they have different times of the year but they’re always correlated by the full moon.
Groupers are the most common or at least the most kind of know but you also have blue tangs and surgeon fish here in the island we get a lot of triggerfish.
On this particular time that I was there I also saw some trunkfish and I was amazed to see 10 , 15, 20 trunk ish at once I’ve only seen two three and to see 10, 20 it was beautiful.
When you are identifying a spawning aggregation site it’s really interesting because you have to have a certain geomorphology so you are going to have like an overhang and a buttress where the currents are kind of meeting and mixing it’s also a way of ensuring that the currents will help disperse new baby fish into the current.
The one common thing that you do see in spawning aggregations is that the colors of the fish usually and their behaviors change so groupers for the males will become one color and the females will become another color.
They are going to be acting like they are courting of course because that’s what they’re there for, and you are going to see these kind of chasing movements and you are going to see this ball of fish that is releasing eggs and sperm into the water and making sure we have fish for the future.
It’s critical to protect the fish spawning site’s because that really ensures that there is a future population for the fishermen to catch. If you take all the fish out of the spawning sites before they reproduce that’s it that’s the last of their generation and there wont be any more for the fishermen to catch in five years or his sons to catch or for his grandchildren to catch.
Currently the FSA’s are being researched pinpointed, you know, what the status is how many fish are going to spawn, what types of fish are going to spawn. In the next two years will really have an understanding of where the spawning sites are what their status is and what we need to do to protect them in the future.
I started fishing from a young boy in my teenage years around here on the island and I still do a bit of it not a whole lot but some. 1987, I visited the first school of the groupers on the island my brother and I, we had an American guy as a tourist with us and he went over and he was down for about 20 minutes and man he came to the surface and he told me, he said, you know what guys, don’t know how you can believe your eyes if you don’t see it, there is thousands and thousands of groupers in that school of fish.
When I was going out fishing with my dad or my uncle they used to say we got spawning area where the fishes comes out by group by the hundred and I was like, what is that, last year I went for a fish there but it’s not the same you barely can catch fish or you cannot see the abundance anymore.
I was a little disappointed when I have seen some people go in there and just take the school you know just because they were there for the taking and If we don’t do things in a civilized manner we can loose everything that we have here as the marine life or the even the animals of the land, what happened is you don’t give a grouper the chance to spawn there wont be any groupers left.
When the fishes are spawning and they are coming up they are coming to lay the eggs and if we give them chance they are going to reproducing and have more fishes.
So as a Bay Islanders let’s please try to protect this area, I would ask you and beg you if you could change your mind of the way you take from the ocean.
If you know that the snappers or the groupers or the trigger fish the old wife whatever is out there is spawning at that time, that’s the time that we need to go there and watch that no one go out there and harass these things.
Think for a future, think for our children, think for our island that if we destroy it now, what are we are going to have in the future.
I wish that by God’s help we can all do conservation and let’s work together and make it a better place that’s my hearts desire to teach and everyone of you.
Click to watch the Fish Spawning Aggregations in Roatan.