The mystery of bonefish spawning solved

The Bonefish is an extremely popular fishing that lures 1000s of sport fishermen to try their luck each year but until now it has been unknown how this species reproduce. Andy Danylchuk, a researcher working at University of Massachusetts Amherst and his colleagues have been studying bonefish for the last few years using using ultrasonic transmitters to tag and track the fishes movements. The research have been conducted outside Bahamas. The results can now be found in the online version of the journal Marine Biology.

The research show that bonefish gather by the thousands at pre-spawning aggregation sites for a few days each month during the spawning season (October to May). This usually take place during the full and new moon. The fish than migrate together out into deeper water at dusk where they than spawn at depths of more than 1000 ft (300m).

Andy Danylchuk says that “One possible benefit of bonefish migrating to offshore locations to spawn is that it increases the dispersal of their fertilized eggs, especially with the high tides that happen with the new and full moons.”

He also says that this is “This is the first time movement patterns of bonefish to deep water have been formally described,” and that “This new understanding of bonefish movement and spawning aggregations has significant implications for their conservation,”

The researcher have tagged and followed a total of 60 fish over two years.