Categorized | National News

BNT Releases Breathtaking Nassau Grouper PSA

Though they remain one of our country’s tastiest delicacies, just like the revered conch, grouper is slowly becoming a harder fish to catch. Thanks to a newly released video from the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) thousands of Bahamians can learn all about the Nassau Grouper, its importance to our waters and why we need to protect their last remaining spawning sites.

The eight and a half minute public education video takes viewers on a magical journey under the sea to Nassau Grouper spawning sites. “The purpose of the documentary is to raise awareness about the status of the Nassau Grouper spawning aggregations and to increase support for compliance with the fisheries regulations,” said Krista Sherman, PhD Student, University of Exeter and former BNT Science Officer.

“We think the video is important to air because grouper spawning sites are still being fished illegally and there is a lot of research being carried out to evaluate and adequately protect the remaining Nassau grouper populations.” The video is posted on the BNT YouTube page at and can also be accessed via their website and Facebook page.

The Nassau Grouper research is a collaborative project between Krista Sherman, PhD Student, University of Exeter, Dr. Kristine Stump of the Shedd Aquarium and Dr. Craig Dahlgren of the Perry Institute of Marine Science to assess the status of spawning stocks throughout The Bahamas. The team met in late 2013 with the assistance of world renowned artist Guy Harvey. Dr. Harvey has been working in his own homeland of Cayman to protect grouper and has released a movie – ‘Mystery of the Grouper Moon’ – which was shown at a BNT evening event.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the Nassau Grouper as endangered and The Bahamas is one of the few countries that still have sustainable Nassau Grouper populations. The research team hopes that through this video they can promote the importance of conserving this species for future generations.

“The current research builds on past work where grouper spawning migrations were tracked from the Exuma Cays to spawning sites off Long Island, Bahamas, with migrations of over 100 miles detected,” stated Dr. Craig Dahlgren. “Preliminary results from the current work indicate that Nassau Grouper in different parts of The Bahamas may show very different patterns with respect to their migration patterns. This highlights the complexity of Nassau Grouper populations in The Bahamas and how further research can improve management of these populations.”

The BNT hopes that the video will inspire fishermen to respect the closed season which is December 1st to March 1st and to especially stop fishing during spawning periods. The BNT is also hoping their 18,000 followers on Facebook will share this video with friends and family – to inspire those who care about our environment to help spread the word about how critical it is to conserve this species.

“I’m excited to be conducting cutting-edge research that has had and will continue to have a significant influence on improving conservation management,” said Sherman. “Over the next few years, we will be working closely with the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and supporting NGOs like the BNT to assist with our research and develop a Nassau Grouper Species Conservation Strategy for The Bahamas.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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