Research Frameworks

Background

The Research Framework is presented as a Conceptual Model for each species (bonefish, tarpon, and permit), structured as life history diagrams. Summaries of the State of Knowledge are listed for each life phase, and are used to prioritize Research Needs. These Frameworks provide a basic structure for determining what is known and unknown for each species, and for defining the priority research needs. The Frameworks allow us to place any research findings into a larger context, determine where the findings fit and how the findings influence other research needs, and to formulate a long-term research plan. In this way, the Framework will educate BTU members and scientists, as well as resource managers and anglers, of the needs for bonefish, tarpon, and permit research and conservation.

A secondary purpose for this Framework is to inform potential donors and funding organizations of research and conservation needs. The Framework allows this to be done within the overall context of BTT’s program, and for funders to ascertain how their funds are contributing to research and conservation goals.

The Frameworks were built and are refined in an iterative process, with adjustments following research results. The models are used to provide structure to research programs, and can also be used to formulate hypotheses based on current knowledge and research findings. . The Frameworks are set in a life-phase structure as a way to recognize that biological and anthropogenic factors differ within each life stage. Juveniles have different habitat and diet requirements than adults, for example, and are generally not part of the fishery. Nonetheless, understanding juvenile ecology is essential to effective and long-term conservation and management. This is especially important since it is becoming clear that for many coastal species loss of juvenile habitats may be as or more important than fisheries harvest. Within each Framework, the topics are life phase-specific.

To view the Frameworks, click on the appropriate link in the upper right.