Individual differences in horizontal movements of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) in nearshore areas in French Polynesia, determined using ultrasonic telemetry
Centre IRD de Montpellier, BP 5045, 34032 Montpellier cedex 1, France
2 Centre IRD de Brest, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané cedex, France
Accepted: 10 July 2000
This article describes tracking experiments conducted on eleven yellowfin tuna using ultrasonic transmitters in French Polynesia between 1985 and 1997. Nine fish were caught near Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) while the other two were tracked in coastal areas without FADs. The fish showed different patterns of horizontal movements: tight associations with FADs lasting several days, foraging movements confirmed by simultaneous acoustic observations of prey-sized fauna, movements parallel to the shore, and traveling between FADs. This intra- and inter-individual variety of behaviour might depend on the local environment (prey), and on individual biological differences. The influence of FADs, coastlines, and prey on tuna movements is discussed. The lack of information about the surrounding environment, the internal state of the fish and the recent history of the fish usually prevent scientists from adequately interpreting the observed movements. Ideas for future research to studying tuna behaviour near FADs are discussed.
Key words: tuna / Fish Aggregating Devices / behaviour / horizontal movements / ultrasonic telemetry / French Polynesia
© Elsevier, Inra, Ifremer, Cemagref, Ird, Cnrs, 2000