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    Tripletail, Lobotes surinamensis

    Tripletail occur worldwide in warm seas. In the western Atlantic Ocean, they occur from
    Cape Cod to Argentina and throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Tripletail are
    attractedto floating objects and are often caught around buoys, channel markers, and
    floating debris.
    While little information on their biology is available, a preliminary analysis of samples taken
    from commercial fishery landings made in Florida has provided some information on their
    age,growth, and reproduction (Armstrong et al. 1996a). Apparent maximum ages in these
    samples were 6 years for males and 7 years for females (Armstrong et al. 1996a). The
    ages from otoliths, although preliminary and unvalidated, indicate that tripletail grow
    rapidly during their first few years of life (Table 1). Females were slightly larger than males.
    The smallest mature male found was 11.8 inches total length (TL), and the smallest
    mature female was 14.2 inches. It was estimated that males mature at about 11.8–15.7
    inches and females at about 13.8–19.7 inches TL.

    Total annual landings of tripletail in Florida during 2005 were 197,337 pounds. These
    landings were fairly evenly distributed by coast (53% Atlantic, 47% gulf) and mostly by
    recreational fishers (97% of statewide landings by weight). Commercial landings were
    highest in Brevard County on the Atlantic coast (Fig. 1). The recreation landings were
    evenly distributed along both coasts (Fig. 2). The 2005 total landings of tripletail were 36%
    lower than the average landings in the previous five years (2000-2004) and were 15%
    lower than the 1982–2005 historical average landings (Fig. 3). Tripletail landings have
    fluctuated greatly on the Atlantic coast. Estimated total annual landings between 1986 and
    1991 do not include commercial landings of tripletail because they were not reported
    separately from other fishes. Since 1991, Atlantic landings have fluctuated without trend
    but with high landings from 1995-2002, followed by low landings in 2003, 2004, and 2005
    (Fig. 3). In 2005, Atlantic coast landings were only about 104,000 pounds. After peaking at
    about 600,000 pounds in 1996, gulf coast landings have
Upper Keys Fishing
Marine Fisheries News
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Status and Trends 2007 Report
Florida’s Inshore and Nearshore Species
by Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
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