Beloved by sport anglers, largely ignored by commercial fishermen, there’s a lot about bonefish we don’t really know. We don’t have a great idea on where or how they spawn, how larval bonefish recruit to the adult population, and what effects commercial and sport angling, bycatch, fishing pressure, or climate change, will have on their populations. We’re not even entirely sure how many species there are, and which species contribute significantly to sport fisheries.
In a global first, researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) have successfully hatched bonefish eggs in the lab, describing the procedure and early development. Future research will help biologists and policymakers better understand habitat and water quality requirements which permit successful bonefish spawning and recruitment, as well as identify challenges and inform their solutions to maintain healthy recreational stocks.