Doctor of marine biology and independent consultant.
What is your job?
I acquired a PhD in marine biology in 2009, I studied at the University of Quadaloupe on temporal and special distribution of fish communities in mangroves and the diet of these fish by using stable isotope techniques. I am presently an environmental consultant and am working on a project with the Saint-Martin RNN within the FRECOR (French Initiative for Coral Reefs) framework to analyse reef monitoring data (benthos and fish) at Saint-Martin.
For how long have you been working with the species?
I studied fish populations for by PhD thesis, and since for a post-doctorate in the USA and Belize. Juvenile groupers, including those of the Nassau grouper, are present in the mangrove and sea-grass bed ecosystem that serve as nurseries, especially protecting them from predators.
What do the local people think of the species?
The Nassau grouper, as most groupers, is much appreciated by local people.
Can you give any particular interesting feature of the species?
The Nassau Grouper produces a sound by contracting its swim bladder in order to intimidate predators. This can sometimes be heard when approaching a fish underwater.
How has the species fared since you’ve been studying it? What figures do you have today?
Population monitoring of the species at Saint-Martin within the AMP framework has shown that Nassau grouper density is quite low, once at sites outside the reserve. During a 2018 census only 1 individual was found.
What are the main threats and the reason for its decline?
Commercial and recreational fishing, especially catching them when they group together during breeding; as well as the destruction and deterioration of their coastal habitats that serve as nurseries (mangroves and marine Phanerogam beds).
What do you want from the LIFE BIODIV’OM program concerning the conservation of this species?
This project will help to increase the density of this protected and emblematic species within Saint-Martin and surrounding waters.