Your team will:
- Research the biology of the Nassau grouper
- Research the geographic distribution of the Nassau grouper
- Research the human uses of the Nassau grouper
- Research sustainable harvesting methods that have been proposed by Green Reef
- Develop a plan to study the effect of one sustainable harvesting method
- Create a presentation to secure funding for your study
Divide the tasks 1 though 4 among your group members so that each person has one research task. Work together to complete tasks 5 and 6.
Task 1. The Biology of Epinephelus striatus
The Question: Why is the population of Nassau groupers so sensitive to current fishing practices?
Explore the spawning habits of Nassau groupers at the NOAA Office of Protected Resources website.
Task 2. Geographic Distribution of Epinephelus striatus
The Question: Where are Nassau groupers found?
Create a map showing the geographic distribution of the Nassau grouper using the OBIS Portal. On the OBIS portal, select the "Search Data" tab and then select the "Click search and browse taxa". Enter the scientific name of the Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus."Click to search and browse datasets". When the database search is complete, select "Update map". Once the map appears, you may change its orientation by using the menu above the map. If you would like to save a map click on "Show results" then click on "Download" and "WMS", "Show Background", and "Save as image".
To find the locations where this species has been collected, use the scientific name search at FishBase. How does geography explain the occurrence of the species? What geography related factors have influenced the population of the Nassau grouper? Look for clues at Reef Briefs.
Task 3. Human uses of Epinephelus striatus
The Question: What uses do humans have for Nassau groupers?
To learn more about human uses of the Nassau grouper visit the Green Reef website.
Learn more about the economic importance of the Nassau grouper. How have fishing practices affected the population? Are there other factors that have placed stress on the Nassau grouper population?
Task 4. Sustainable Harvesting Methods
The Question: What are some possible sustainable harvesting methods?
The harvesting of the Nassau grouper is economically important to small-scale fisheries in the Caribbean. Learn more about plans to rebuild grouper populations at the NOAA website.
Task 5. The Plan
Since you are a team of research scientists, your plan will need the following parts:
- Research question- State the question that your research project will answer.
- Background information- Provide information that someone would need to know in order to understand your plan. Be sure to cite sources of information. This is the place to put information about Nassau grouper biology, geographic distribution, human uses of the Nassau grouper, and sustainable harvesting methods.
- Hypothesis- A statement that describes the expected outcome of your project.
- Materials- What you will need to conduct your research or implement your project and why these are essential.
- Procedure- List the steps you would take to conduct your research.
- Why your team thinks the plan will work- Link this to the survival and sustainability of the Nassau grouper populations. Show a cause and effect relationship.
Task 6. The Presentation
Now it's time to sell your plan. There's only so much money to go around. Will your presentation convince the foundation to fund your research? Your presentation should include all the elements of your team's plan. Use visual aids such as maps, pictures, charts, tables, and/or an outline of key points. The presentation may be done using a computer-based presentation program or overhead transparencies. Each person should be responsible for presenting at least one part of the plan.