Horizontal movements of Atlantic blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) in the Gulf of Mexico
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We examined movements of Atlantic blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) from the Gulf of Mexico based upon 42 pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags. Long deployments (including one 334-day track) revealed diverse movement patterns within the Gulf of Mexico. North-south seasonal changes in blue marlin distribution showed strong correspondence with established seasonal patterns of sea surface temperature and primary production. During the summer spawning season, blue marlin utilized outer shelf and shelf edge waters in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and longer duration tracks indicated overwintering habitats in the Bay of Campeche. Egress occurred throughout the year and was difficult to determine because some tracks ended in the Straits of Florida (n = 3) while other tracks recorded movement through it or the Yucatan Channel (n = 4). Our results indicate that Atlantic blue marlin have a more restricted geographic range of habitats than previously recognized and that the Gulf of Mexico provides spatially dynamic suitable habitat that is utilized year-round through seasonal movements. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
complete list of authors
Kraus, Richard T||Wells, RJ David||Rooker, Jay R