Spatial-temporal patterns of Permit (Trachinotus falcatus) habitat residency in the Florida Keys, USA Article

Brownscombe, JW, Griffin, LP, Morley, D et al. (2023). Spatial-temporal patterns of Permit (Trachinotus falcatus) habitat residency in the Florida Keys, USA . ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY OF FISHES, 106(2), 419-431. 10.1007/s10641-022-01332-7

cited authors

  • Brownscombe, JW; Griffin, LP; Morley, D; Acosta, A; Boucek, R; Adams, AJ; Danylchuk, AJ; Cooke, SJ



  • Permit (Trachinotus falcatus) occupy a variety of coastal marine habitats and support valuable recreational fisheries in their home region of the Caribbean Sea. As an aggregate spawning species, Permit require careful management in locations such as the Florida Keys where they experience substantial fishing pressure. We used acoustic telemetry to examine Permit residency patterns over 4 years amongst 12 high-residency sites that are likely important spawning (natural or artificial reefs) or foraging (seagrass flats) habitats. Residency was highest in artificial reefs, supporting previous research that suggests Permit have high fidelity to these habitats compared to seagrass flats and natural reefs on the Florida Reef Tract, which are highly connected. Residency peaked in the spring and summer months in most sites, with a marked decline in the late fall, suggesting potential undetected movement outside the region during that period. Permit exhibited high residency at an important spawning site in March, indicating that this spawning aggregation is vulnerable to fishing pressure with current regulations, which protect Permit from April through July. Seagrass flats in close proximity (<10 km) to spawning locations are likely of high importance to Permit as a food source during the extensive spawning season. Permit residency was generally consistent amongst water temperatures, although residency patterns varied with temperature amongst sites. Residency at natural reef spawning sites increased leading up to the full moon, which is a potential spawning cue for this species. These findings build on a body of recent research on Florida Keys Permit, providing residency information over space and time that may help to further guide the development of marine protected areas and fisheries regulations.

publication date

  • February 1, 2023

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 419

end page

  • 431


  • 106


  • 2