James A. Bohnsack

James A. Bohnsack
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | NOAA · Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Miami, FL 33149

Ph.D. Biology

About

97
Publications
49,689
Reads
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7,328
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 1984 - October 2019
National Marine Fisheries Service
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Retired
January 1984 - present
University of Miami
Position
  • Adjunct Profession
Description
  • Department Marine Biology and Fisheries

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
Full-text available
Exploitation impacts and management options for 15 coral reef fish species central to the commercial and recreational fisheries of the southern Florida USA coral reef ecosystem were evaluated using a length-based risk analysis (LBRA) framework. Population abundance-at-length composition data were obtained from several regional federal-state samplin...
Article
Full-text available
This study extended a “data-limited” length-based stock assessment approach to a risk analysis context. The estimation-simulation method used length frequencies as the principal data in lieu of catch and effort. Key developments were to: (i) incorporate probabilistic mortality and growth dynamics into a numerical cohort model; (ii) employ a precaut...
Article
Full-text available
Contrary to the claim by Nelson et al. (2016; Endang Species Res 30:187-190), no court has rejected the biological framework we proposed for interpreting the 'significant portion of its range' (SPOIR) language in the US Endangered Species Act. The relative importance placed on current vs. historical range during implementation will be important in...
Article
Full-text available
The US Endangered Species Act (ESA) allows protection of any species that is at risk in all or 'a significant portion of its range' (SPOIR). Because this provision is open to many possible interpretations, the agencies responsible for implementing the ESA recently published a SPOIR policy. The policy is based on a framework we developed that asks a...
Data
Full-text available
Abstract: Marine fishery reserves (MFRs), areas with no consumptive usage, are recommended as a viable option for management of reef fisheries in the U.S. southern Atlantic region. MFRs are designed to protected reef fish stocks and habitat from all consumptive exploitation within specified geographical areas for the primary purpose of ensuring th...
Article
Full-text available
The efficacy of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) to enhance and sustain regional coral reef fisheries was assessed in Dry Tortugas, Florida, through 9 annual fishery-independent research surveys spanning 2 years before and 10 years after NTMR implementation. A probabilistic sampling design produced precise estimates of population metrics of more tha...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Reef fish populations are an essential component of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) coral reef ecosystem and are of great economic, ecological and cultural importance to the region. Yet, striking population and community level declines have been observed over the past several decades due to intensive exploitation and systemic degradation of...
Article
Full-text available
The present study examines the influence of coastal marine protected areas (mpas) and statewide fishing regulations on recreational trophy fisheries for four important estuarine game fishes in florida, where ∼59% of the mainland coast consists of mpas. The distribution of International Game fish association (IGfa) recreational world records achieve...
Conference Paper
The Florida Keys reef tract contains a suite of important communities, but there are indications that human activity has dramatically altered these communities. Historical data have documented declines in trophy fish size and live coral cover, but these datasets often lack spatial and temporal resolution. As the management focus in marine systems s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The efficacy of no-take marine reserves in Florida’s Dry Tortugas to enhance regional coral reef fisheries was assessed through a series of synoptic research cruises spanning 2 years before and 10 years after implementation. Principles of statistical sampling design were used to guide fishery- independent diver visual surveys involving more than 10...
Article
Full-text available
Principles of statistical sampling design were used to guide refinement of a 30-year multispecies fishery-independent diver visual survey of population abundance and size structure of more than 250 exploited and non-target fishes in the Florida coral reef ecosystem. Reef habitat features and no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) were used to partition th...
Conference Paper
Gray snapper are among the most commercially and recreationally important coral reef fishes of South Florida. In the gray snapper life cycle, larvae are pelagic, juveniles typically utilize mangrove habitat as nurseries, and adults generally associate with coral reefs. We used two eleven-year time-series (1999-2009) of visual survey data collected...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Reef fish populations are conspicuous and essential components of coral reef ecosystems, but monitoring strategies have historically varied across agencies in their objectives and designs. An unprecedented multi-agency reef fish monitoring effort involving NOAA Fisheries, the University of Miami, the National Park Service and the Florida Fish and W...
Article
Full-text available
In November 2006, the Florida governor and cabinet approved implementation of a management plan for a Research Natural Area (RNA) or no-take marine reserve in the Dry Tortugas National Park (DTNP) to become effective in January 2007. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also concurred with the proposed National Park Service regulat...
Article
After many years of experiencing relatively benign neglect, the language in the U.S Endangered Species Act (ESA) that deals with risks to a species in a “significant portion of its range” (SPOIR) has attracted a great deal of recent attention from legal and biological perspectives (Defenders of Wildlife v. Norton 2001; Center for Biological Diversi...
Article
Full-text available
We examine the influence of reserve size and boundary length on the relative rate of fish density change in reserves versus fished reference reefs for three exploitable-sized reef fish categories: (1) combined fish (34 species of Haemulidae, Lutjanidae, Serranidae, and hogfish Lachnolaimus maximus); (2) Haemulidae (13 species); and (3) Lutjanidae (...
Chapter
Full-text available
South Florida is a unique enclave of the Caribbean thanks to the nexus of geography and environmental factors. Tropical mangrove, sea grass, coral reef epifaunal and infaunal sedimentary communities are common from Stuart on the east coast to Tampa Bay on the west coast. Florida is the only state in the continental United States to have such an eco...
Article
Nelson et al. (2007) make three major arguments in their comment on our proposed biological framework (Waples et al. 2007) for considering the significant portion of its range (SPOIR) language in the U.S. Endangered Species Act. First, they find our proposed SPOIR definition “awkward and obfuscating.” This might be at least in part due to the neces...
Article
Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), a species can be listed if it is at risk “in all or a significant portion of its range,” but the ESA provides no guidance on how to interpret this key phrase. We propose a simple test to determine whether the areas of a species' range in which it is currently at risk amount to a significant portion: If t...
Article
Full-text available
In a series of synoptic research cruises including 4000 research dives, we surveyed reef-fish populations and habitats before and 3 yrs after 2001 implementation of no-take marine reserves covering approximately 566 km2 in the Dry Tortugas, Florida. Species richness and composition of 267 fishes remained stable between 1999-2000 and 2004 within the...
Article
Full-text available
Simulation and empirical analyses were conducted to evaluate the utility and robustness of average length (Lbar) of animals in the exploited population as an estimator of fishing mortality (F), and therefore as an indicator of exploitation status for Florida coral-reef fish. Simulation results showed that the Lbar estimator of fishing mortality was...
Article
Full-text available
Southern Florida coral reefs generated an estimated 71,000 jobs and US$6 billion in economic activity in 2001. These ecosystem goods and services, however, are threatened by increased exploitation and environmental changes from a rapidly growing regional human population. To address these threats, we adopted an ecosystem-based perspective and devel...
Article
Full-text available
Management agencies have increasingly relied on size limits, daily bag or trip limits, quotas, and seasonal closures to manage fishing in recreational and commercial fisheries. Another trend is to establish aquatic protected areas, including no-take reserves (NTRs), to promote sustainable fisheries and protect aquatic ecosystems. Some anglers, assu...
Article
Full-text available
Although the title of this symposium implied a focus on fully protected marine areas, most presentations actually dealt with a range of traditional "marine protected areas" or "marine managed areas" that offer less than "full" resource protection. Some presentations noted a backlash against establishing no-take reserves. Here we provide 17 reasons...
Article
Full-text available
Concern about declining trends in coral reef habitats and reef fish stocks in the Florida Keys contributed to the implementation of a network of no-take marine protected areas in 1997. In support of the efforts of the Dry Tortugas National Park and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to implement additional no-take areas in the Tortugas region i...
Article
Full-text available
Different human expectations and environmental ethics are key factors preventing the creation of marine reserve networks. People are skeptical about the benefits of no-take marine reserves because they have adjusted to scarcity and have low expectations about the productive capability of marine ecosystems. Pauly (1995) described this as a shifting...
Article
Full-text available
The Caribbean reef-building corals Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis have undergone widespread declines in the past two decades, leading to their designation as candidates for listing under the United States Endangered Species Act. Whole-reef censuses in 1983 and 2000 at Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary in the Florida Keys provide estimat...
Article
Full-text available
Marine reserves have been widely promoted as conservation and fishery management tools. There are robust demonstrations of conservation benefits, but fishery benefits remain controversial. We show that marine reserves in Florida (United States) and St. Lucia have enhanced adjacent fisheries. Within 5 years of creation, a network of five small reser...
Article
Full-text available
While most of the mapped area (137.5 km 2 ) of the Tortugas Bank consists of low-relief hard-bottom (105.5 km 2 or 77%) and scattered, rocky outcrops (16.6 km 2 or 12%), a sizeable portion of the western rim or platform edge (24 o 42.30’ N, 83 o 02.64’ W) is a well-developed reef terrace community (top panel). The topography of the substratum is ve...
Article
Full-text available
In response to coral reef decline, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force adopted a goal of protecting a minimum of 20% by area of all representative coral reefs and associated habitats as no-take reserves by 2010. Here we provide a rationale for using 20-30% minimum no-take protection to conserve coral reef ecosystems. Support comes from reproductive theo...
Article
Full-text available
Establishing no-take marine reserves (NTRs) displaces fishing effort to surrounding areas, creating concerns about short-term impacts on resources and fishers before long-term benefits can accrue. Models were developed to compare the effects of short-term displacement caused by of NTRs to effects of minimum size limits (MSLs), one of the most widel...
Article
Full-text available
The application of marine reserves has generated considerable recent interest as a tool for conservation and resource management. Particular attention has been placed on the potential utility of areas within which all extractive activities are prohibited (No-Take Zones, NTZs) for management. The no-take reserve concept builds on and extends traditi...
Article
Full-text available
Recreational creel survey data from 28,923 intercepts collected from Biscayne National Park, Florida and surrounding waters were analyzed for January 1976 through July 1991, prior to disruptions caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. A total of 261.268 fish and shellfish representing 170 species or higher taxa were recorded. The average trip landed 9....
Article
Full-text available
Improved management approaches are needed to reduce the rate at which humans are depleting exploited marine populations and degrading marine ecosystems. Networks of no-take marine reserves are promising management tools because of their potential to (1) protect coastal ecosystem structure and functioning, (2) benefit exploited populations and fishe...
Article
Full-text available
Approximately 22% of the waters of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, have been closed to public access and fishing since 1962. These closed areas offer an opportunity to test the effectiveness of “no-take” sanctuaries by analyzing two replicated estuarine areas. Areas open and closed t...
Article
Full-text available
No-take marine reserves, areas protected from all fishing and other extractive activities, offer a conservative, ecologi-cally and habitat based, tool for fishery management. They can support sustainable fisheries by providing significant protection of species composition, abundance, size and age structure, fecundity and spawning potential. They of...
Article
Full-text available
A baseline assessment of 36 economically and ecologically important Florida Keys reef fish stocks is provided using a systems approach that integrates sampling, statistics, and mathematical modeling. Quantitative fishery-independent data from reef fish visual surveys conducted by SCUBA divers from 1979 to 1996 were used to develop estimates of popu...
Article
Abstract Establishing permanent ‘no-take’ marine reserves, areas where fishing and all other extractive activities are prohibited, is an attractive but under-utilized tool for fisheries management. Marine reserves could potentially deal with many fishery problems that are not effectively addressed by other traditional management measures; they also...
Conference Paper
The South Florida Ecosystem is defined using the extent of the natural watershed as is reflected by the boundaries of the South Florida Water Management District. This area encompasses approximately 46000 km <sup>2</sup> and includes 16 counties and starts at the city of Orlando and continues southward to Key West. The major ecosystems described wi...