Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 25, Number 2, April-June 2012
|Page(s)||143 - 149|
|Published online||07 June 2012|
Sea caged Atlantic salmon display size-dependent swimming depth
Institute of Marine Research, 5984
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 24 April 2012
The present study investigates vertical distribution of fish size in three 12 m × 12 m wide and 14 m deep sea cages stocked with Atlantic salmon of average weight from 3.5 to 3.7 kg, at commercial densities between 15.6 to 16.2 kg m-3, in Norway. For each cage, individual fish weight were estimated by three 0.6 m × 0.6 m measuring frames as fish swam through. The frames were positioned at 3, 6 and 9 m depth. Recordings were carried out over five days per cage in succession, and during relatively stable environmental conditions in late autumn 2010. In all cages, measured fish were 15−25% smaller at 3 m compared to the average weights at 6 and 9 m depth. Largest average weight difference between depths within one cage was 0.995 kg. The average weight at 6 and 9 m was higher at night-time compared to daytime. Fish at the lower end of the weight spectrum were predominantly registered at 3 m, while fish at the higher end of the spectrum were mostly registered at the greater depths. Fish of average size were well represented at all three depths. The fact that smaller fish swam shallower may be ascribed to natural behavioural traits and introduce an important consideration in representative sampling within commercial sea cages. In biomass estimations and sea lice counts size-dependent vertical stratification needs to be accounted for.
Key words: Salmon-cage aquaculture / Fish behaviour / Vertical movements / Salmo salar
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD 2012
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