2014 Stock Assessment of Striped Mullet

Read the most current stock assessment for striped mullet in Florida, published December 2014.

Download the 2014 Stock Assessment Update of Striped Mullet.
(Adobe PDF PDF 3.1MB)



The 2014 Update of the Stock Assessment
for Striped Mullet, Mugil cephalus, in Florida 

David Chagaris, Dustin Addis, Behzad Mahmoudi

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
100 Eighth Avenue Southeast 
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5095

 

Executive Summary

  • Total statewide landings for striped mullet in Florida were 12,039,430 lb in 2013, with about 80% made by the commercial fishery and on the west coast.  Since the last assessment in 2008, total landings on the west coast have been stable around an average of 9,896,539 lb.  From 1930 to 1993 west coast landings averaged 26,715,585 lb/yr but due to the net ban they fell below 6,613,860 lb in 1995 and have only increased slightly to 10,465,331 lb in 2013.  On the east coast since 2008, total landings have been stable around an average of 2,112,026 lb.  Prior to the net ban landings on the east coast averaged 3,816,197 lb/yr, then fell to 1,895,973 lb in 1995 and have remained at that level ever since.
  • Since 2008, the percentage of total landings occurring during roe season (September-December on the east coast and October-January on the west coast) has increased on the east coast from 66.2% to 76.8% in 2013.  On the west coast the percentage has remained relatively stable since 2008 around an average of 70.9%.
  • Fisheries independent surveys of juvenile striped mullet indicate a strong year class in 2010 on the east coast, and 2010-2011 on the west coast.
  • The data used in the stock assessment models were current through 2013.  We applied five modeling approaches ranging from a “data poor” method (i.e., depletion-based stock reduction analysis) to more complex approaches (i.e., stochastic stock reduction analysis, surplus production model, a two-age delay-difference model, and a fully age- and size-structured stock synthesis model).  Models were developed separately for the east and west coasts.
  • All models indicate that striped mullet on both coasts are currently neither overfished (Bcurrent/BSPR35%> 1 or Bcurrent/Bmsy > 1) nor undergoing overfishing (Fcurrent/FSPR35% < 1 or Fcurrent/Fmsy < 1).  The delay-difference and stock synthesis models both predicted the current SPR to be above the management target of SPR35%.


FWC Facts:
Saxitoxin, the compound that produces paralytic shellfish poisoning, was used in suicide pills for U.S. U-2 spy plane pilots in the Cold War in case of crash and potential capture.

Learn More at AskFWC