The larger flyingfishes are vacuum-packed by number and flash-frozen, and like the Hemiramphus halfbeaks, some are sold rigged with heavy wire leaders and single or multiple hooks.
Although these ratios are relatively small for the south Florida lampara net fishery, we have not estimated the effects of this repeated biomass removal on the pelagic or reef ecosystem, nor have we calculated the biomass removal of halfbeaks or flyingfishes for bait by the commercial guides or noncommercial fishermen using small hooks or cast nets.
Annual reported landings (in numbers of fish [n] or pounds) and number of day trips in which halfbeaks (Hemiramphidae), flyingfishes (Excoetidae), and needlefishes (Belonidae) were caught in the south Florida lampara net fishery since 1986.
Many of these prey were flyingfishes, cephalopods, dolphinfishes, wahoo, and snake mackerel in digestion states 3 or 4 and were found in stomachs that were over 50% full.
The most important prey taxa by percent biomass in the early morning were flyingfishes (54%), snake mackerel (Gempylidae, 18%), and epipelagic cephalopods (10%).
28%), flyingfishes (18%), epipelagic cephalopods (17%), and mesopelagic fishes (primarily Vinciguerria lucetia, 15%).
Flyingfishes and epipelagic cephalopods were clearly the dominant prey.
The flyingfishes were the dominant prey in the east area in terms of all three indices (Fig.
Flyingfishes and epipelagic cephalopods were found in 32% and 14% of the dolphinfish sampled, and also ranked first and second in biomass, respectively (Fig.
Flyingfishes also occurred in many of the samples (19%), but their contribution to the diet by weight and numbers was overshadowed by the epipelagic cephalopods.