What is being done to protect Nassau grouper?
A social and ecological cornerstone of Caribbean coral reefs, the Nassau grouper is a Caribbean icon. Normally solitary and territorial, during the winter full moons grouper travel, sometimes over great distances, and “group” together to spawn at the same sites every year. The predictable nature of these spawning aggregations renders them vulnerable to overfishing, and now one-third to one-half of the originally known spawning sites in the Caribbean are inactive.
In 2002, the Reef Environmental Educational Foundation (REEF) launched "The Grouper Moon Project" - a collaborative effort with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment to study the last remaining active Nassau grouper spawning aggregation in the Cayman Islands.
Grouper Moon author Cynthia Shaw collaborated with the Grouper Moon Project staff to develop a curricular unit to support Grouper Moon, which is used as the anchor text for these materials. This age-adaptable unit is used in fourth grade classrooms in the Cayman Islands. Check out more information on the Grouper Education Program at http://groupereducation.edublogs.org/
For high schoolers, a curriculum will also be available through REEF; this does not use Grouper Moon as an anchor text.
View a video of a Nassau Grouper spawning aggregation, along with lots of great information about Nassau grouper and the Grouper Moon Project on the following website: