Chief Fisheries Officer Ian Horsford has shed light on the process used to determine the closed season for parrotfish, a popular fish species in the Caribbean.
In a recent statement, he explained that the peak spawning months for each parrotfish species are determined by measuring the total weight of the gonads (testes or ovaries) relative to the total body weight of individual fish.
This information is then validated monthly by examining the ovaries and testes under magnification for signs of spawning, such as the presence of ripe oocytes or milt.
Data is collected monthly for a period of more than five years to account for environmental variability and other factors.
The closed season is a period of time during which fishing for parrotfish is prohibited to allow the fish to reproduce and replenish their populations. The closed season for parrotfish in the Caribbean typically runs from March 1 to July 31 each year.
According to Horsford, the closed season is necessary to ensure the sustainability of the parrotfish population and to protect the livelihoods of fishers who rely on the fish for their income.
He emphasized the importance of complying with fishing regulations, stating that the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is committed to enforcing these regulations to preserve the country’s natural resources for future generations.
Horsford’s statement provides valuable insight into the scientific basis for determining closed seasons for fish species and highlights the efforts being made to protect the Caribbean’s marine ecosystems.
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