Assessing fish stock status is always challenging, but this is especially true for reef fish without fishery catch or effort data. Together with REEF Grouper Moon Project and Cayman Islands DOE scientists, we use diver-operated laser calipers to obtain length data from the protected Nassau Grouper spawning aggregation on Little Cayman Island. This length data is valuable for assessing the population and identifying years in which new recruits join the population. Potential research questions include: 1) Can we estimate how many fish joined the population in 2020? 2) Is the strong 2017-year class still detectable in the 2020 length distribution? 3) How do the length-based assessment data from a new method (stereo video) compare to our current method (laser calipers)?
Brian develops statistical methods to improve our understanding and management of fisheries. He is currently an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, where he works with Dr. Tim Miller to extend population assessment models to incorporate environmental effects. Brian completed his Ph.D. with Dr. Brice Semmens at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.