Alternate Title

A Description of the Shelf Edge Groundfish Habitat Along the Southeastern United States


The rocky outcrops at the shelf edge along the southeastern United States provide a diverse and complex series of subhabitats inhabited by groundfish of both commercial and recreational importance. Reef morphology ranged from rounded outcrops of relatively low relief (less than 0.5 m) to steep scarps with as much as 15m relief. Groundfish species composition and density of a community off Charleston, S. C. were determined by counts from underwater television. More precise quantitative estimates of subhabitat area, greater replicate abundance sampling within discrete subhabitats and the incorporation of information on groundfish behavioral response to environmental factors and sampling techniques are necessary prior to realistic estimates of regional habitat carrying capacity and/or estimating absolute groundfish abundance.