Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 26, Number 1, January-March 2013
|Page(s)||63 - 68|
|Published online||26 September 2012|
Effect of current and daylight variations on small-pelagic fish aggregations (Selar crumenophthalmus) around a coastal fish aggregating device studied by fine-scale acoustic tracking
UMR EME, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement
(IRD), BP 50172,
Sainte Clotilde Cedex, La Réunion, France
2 ECOMAR, Laboratoire d’Ecologie marine, Université de La Réunion, Saint Denis, La Réunion, France
3 UMR EME, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Victoria, Seychelles
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 13 February 2012
Accepted: 18 June 2012
Several pelagic fish species are known to associate with floating objects. However, quantitative information on the main factors that drive this associative behaviour is still lacking. Small pelagic fish offer a particularly interesting case study for this phenomenon, since the small spatial scales involved in their association with floating objects allow experimental data to be collected at a fine scale. Here, we monitored twelve acoustically-tagged bigeye scads, Selar crumenophthalmus (Carangidae), (mean fork length 16.4 cm, SD 2.1 cm) around a floating object moored in shallow water (15 m depth) playing the role of a coastal fish aggregating device (FAD). To quantify the role played by variations in current and daylight, we calculated the speed distribution, pair correlation function and group polarization for the tagged fish hourly, from midday to dusk (13:00–18:00), for varying current strengths and daylight conditions. We found that the current induced a shift in the position of the aggregation upstream of the FAD, at distances that increased with the current strength. We found evidence of an expansion and a higher coordination in the aggregation at dusk, with increasing speed, distance among conspecifics and alignment. We discuss possible scenarios in which group polarization increases at dusk and suggest complementary measurements for future experiments that could confirm our findings.
Key words: Acoustic telemetry / Small pelagic fish / Moored FAD / Fish aggregation / Behaviour / Daylight effects / Rheotaxis / Indian Ocean
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD 2012
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