Settlement, movement and early juvenile mortality of the yellowtail snapper Ocyurus chrysurus
- The yellowtail snapper Ocyurus chrysurus is one of the most important and heavily targeted reef fishery species in the Caribbean. In this study, we investigate the first month of post-settlement life in shallow seagrass nursery areas with underwater visual census techniques. We separate early juvenile mortality from movement by answering the following specific questions: (1) Are settlement-stage O. chrysurus resident in seagrass? (2) Do early juveniles maintain a home range and, if so, how does home range vary with fish size? (3) Is such a range stable? Using a simple model to explain changes in mortality over time, we provide the first experimentally derived estimates of natural mortality at settlement for this species and thus generate a natural mortality baseline against which to compare survival in short-term rearing systems, and the likely success of release programs.
- Journal Article