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The first spawning of Grouper fish in captivity is recorded in Yucatan

by Yucatan Times
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Mérida, Yucatán, (June 28, 2021).- The Grouper species has shown a decrease in its population, which is why, currently, a project is being carried out between the Secretariat of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture (Sepasy) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) for the recovery of the fish and, as the first result, the first captive spawning will be recorded in Yucatan, a fact that is also the first in the world.

Rafael Combaluzier Medina, secretary of Sepasy, explained that there is currently an Advisory Committee for the Management of Grouper in Yucatán, which meets every month to establish strategies for the benefit of the species.

This committee is made up of representatives of the National Aquaculture and Fisheries Commission (Conapesca), the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca), and other academic institutions that present projects and suggestions so that the Grouper species still has a sufficient population in the Mexican seas.

Even though a proposal made at the table has to do with the suggestion that the closure is extended from January to March so that the fish population recovers, it has not yet been fully decided.

“I am in favor of extending the closure as has been suggested and in that period other fisheries could be opened as an alternative and thus lower fishing effort a little; also opening the possibilities of a tourist theme on the Yucatecan coast could give a respite to the species ”, said Combaluzier Medina.

An example of the decline in the Mero population is that in the 90s it was possible to produce between 20,000 and 30,000 tons and currently the catch ranges between 5,000 and 6,000 tons.

Research projects are developed precisely for the recovery of the species. Such is the case of the work in which the UNAM researchers are involved.

“With them, the first spawning of a red grouper in captivity has been carried out at the UNAM study center, and this has been a process that occurred faster than we expected,” he explained.

The secretary indicated that if this type of technology is not used to reproduce the species, there is a risk that it will be depleted.

It is a project that began in 2019 and 22 specimens of Red grouper were captured for study and reproduction, this is how the first spawning was detected in April.

“For now, what follows is to wait for the minnows to reach an ideal size to go and release them at the sea,” he said.

According to the secretary, the spawning as a result of this project is the first in the world, which is an achievement and will give an example of the work done by researchers in Yucatán.

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