Creature Feature Black Sea Bass
All about that bass
Dive or fish in Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, and you’re likely to come across many black sea bass. These fish are a popular and sustainable choice for many recreational fishers. In Gray’s Reef, black sea bass play an important role as predators, keeping populations of crabs, shrimp, and small fish in check. As protogynous hermaphrodites, black sea bass will switch sexes as they mature, generally starting out as female and changing to male.
DIET: Crabs, shrimp, small fish
AVERAGE SIZE: 11-12 inches
AVERAGE WEIGHT: 1.5 pounds
LIFE SPAN: 8-12 years
EGGS PER SPAWNING SEASON: 30,000 to 500,000
PREDATORS: Skates, spiny dogfish, summer flounder, humans
LOCATION: Western Atlantic Ocean, from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico
Researchers in Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary are using audio recorders to better understand activities of fish species like black sea bass.