Differences in the species composition of the catch and discards for open and closed seasons were tested with permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) in Primer 6 (PRIMER-E Ltd, Ivybridge, UK) with PERMANOVA+ (Anderson et al.
Differences between open and closed seasons were observed for several parameters of effort (Fig.
During red snapper closed seasons, fishermen predominantly used rig type II to target smaller reef fishes (e.
The species composition of the catch from charter boat trips was significantly different between red snapper open and closed seasons (PERMANOVA, pseudo-[F.
3%) seasons despite lower catch rates in closed seasons (Table 1).
For example, all gag (Mycteroperca microlepis) observed during this study were caught during closed seasons and were, therefore, discarded.
During closed seasons, captains fished more frequently on natural reefs that, by comparison, had higher species diversity and lower red snapper abundances than those at the artificial reefs during open seasons, (Dance et al.
In our study, red snapper catch was 61% lower during closed seasons than during open seasons, but discards declined by only 23% and were not significantly lower during closed seasons.
Several reasons exist for the difference between this study and that of Schirripa and Legault (6) in the reported change in the number of red snapper discards for open and closed seasons.
The use of larger hooks and baits during open seasons also increased the mean size and modal age of red snapper compared with values observed during closed seasons.