A multi-state approach to manage Atlantic tarpon and permit in the Florida Keys

Principal Investigators

Adams, A., Danylchuk, A., Brownscombe, J., Griffin, L., Boucek, R.

Project members

Cooke, S.


Bonefish and Tarpon Trust


Permit, Atlantic tarpon


United States



A multi-state approach to manage Atlantic tarpon and permit in the Florida Keys

In the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, permit and Atlantic tarpon play important roles in the ecosystem and support valuable recreational fisheries. Found in tidal flats, near-shore reefs, and shipwrecks, these species are highly migratory and form important ecological connections between geographic regions and habitats. However, their distributions are largely unknown. 

Researchers in the Florida Keys are tracking the distribution and habitat use of permit and tarpon using an array of 75 acoustic receivers to better understand the impacts of human activities on the species, as well as their role in the ecosystem. Data gathered will be used to support regional conservation and management planning. To date, data has revealed mature tarpon moving over 1,000km along the United States’ east coast and permit moving outside of current protected areas to spawn. These findings highlight the importance of multi-state cooperative management strategies, and researchers aim to provide a comprehensive picture of species’ range. 

This long term acoustic telemetry project is conducted by the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Carleton University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and in collaboration with both the Florida Acoustic Telemetry Network (FACT) and the Integrated Tracking of Animals in the Gulf of Mexico (iTAG) network.

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