Black sea bass

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Black sea bass
Centropristis striata.png
Black sea bass
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Actinopterygii
Order:Perciformes
Family:Serranidae
Genus:Centropristis
Species:C. striata
Binomial name
Centropristis striata
(Linnaeus, 1758)
 
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This article is about the Atlantic black sea bass. For Pacific black sea bass, see giant sea bass.
Black sea bass
Centropristis striata.png
Black sea bass
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Actinopterygii
Order:Perciformes
Family:Serranidae
Genus:Centropristis
Species:C. striata
Binomial name
Centropristis striata
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The black sea bass (Centropristis striata) is an exclusively marine fish. It is a type of grouper (Serranidae) found more commonly in northern than in southern ranges.

It inhabits the coasts from Maine to northeast Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The three large biomass populations of black sea bass are the mid-Atlantic stock, from Cape Cod in Massachusetts to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, the South Atlantic stock, from Cape Hatteras to the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, and the Gulf of Mexico stock, from the southern tip of the Florida peninsula to Texas. They can be found in inshore waters (bays and sounds) and offshore in waters up to a depth of 130 m (425 ft). They spend most of their time close to the sea floor and often congregate around bottom formations such as rocks, man-made reefs, wrecks, jetties, piers, and bridge pilings.

Lifecycle[edit]

The sea bass spawns when it is mature, at 190 mm (7.5 in), in middle of May to end of June. The buoyant eggs are 0.95 mm (0.03 in) in diameter, and their development time is 1.6 days at 23°C (74°F). The maximum size of a sea bass is 500 mm (20 in), weighing 4.3 kg (9.5 lb).

It appears off New Jersey in the first weeks of May, withdrawing in late October or early November, and wintering offshore at 55 to 130 m (180 to 426 ft) at temperatures above 8°C (46°F). In summer, it is most abundant at less than 37 m (120 ft).

Black sea bass are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning they generally first mature as females and some later become male. The sex change generally occurs over the winter when the fish are 240 to 330 mm (9.5 to 13 in) long.[1][2]

Identification features[edit]

It often rests stationary or cruises slowly around structures. It occasionally rests on the bottom or other structures, staying either head-down or head-up. It enters the smallest corners and caves with a body angle above ground often about 40° down. The dorsal fin is normally folded close to the body, and it is only spread out as an aggressive posture reaction to other sea bass.

Management[edit]

Black sea bass are highly sought after by recreational and commercial fisherman, and thus can be overfished. Quotas have been set to help limit the overfishing of black sea bass. The mid-Atlantic population is considered "rebuilt", while the south Atlantic population is considered "overfished".[3]

International names[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rutgers Black Sea Bass Project". Jensen Lab Rutgers University. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Black Sea Bass". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  3. ^ http://fbooka.gov/fishwatch/species/black_sea_bass.htm