2018: Exploring non-lethal techniques for sex determination and evaluation of maturity stage of Southern New England monkfish, Lophius americanus

Project Title: Exploring non-lethal techniques for sex determination and evaluation of maturity stage of Southern New England monkfish, Lophius americanus

Year: 2018

Principle Investigators: Ricky Alexander, Amy Carlson, Luisa Garcia

Client: NOAA/NMFS Monkfish Research Set-Aside

This project will utilize endoscopy, ultrasonic examination, gross examination, histology, and hormone analysis to create a reproductive profile based on sex and maturational stage of monkfish (Lophius americanus) in Southern New England to improve biological sampling, and, thereby, management of this resource. Samples will be collected opportunistically over two years on commercial trips in the Northwest Atlantic where monkfish are abundant and commercially harvested. CFF will document how well non-lethal methods correctly indicate sex and developmental stage of monkfish providing a valuable reference guide and new tool for monkfish surveys and tagging projects. Additionally, information from this study will inform managers on potential spawning areas, frequency, and seasonality in the Southern New England area.