Sedentary or mobile? Variability in space and depth use of an exploited coral reef fish

Currey, Leanne M., Heupel, Michelle R., Simpfendorfer, Colin A., and Williams, Ashley J. (2014) Sedentary or mobile? Variability in space and depth use of an exploited coral reef fish. Marine Biology, 161 (9). pp. 2155-2166.

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Abstract

Movement of fishes defines the distribution and abundance of populations and occurs on a range of spatial and temporal scales. To successfully parameterise assessments and design management strategies for exploited fish populations, knowledge and consideration of their movement patterns are essential. Since the efficacy of management approaches vary depending on the sedentary or mobile nature of the target species, presence, space use and depth utilisation were examined to understand the movement patterns of redthroat emperor Lethrinus miniatus. Sixty individuals were monitored for up to 12 months in an acoustic array comprising three coral reefs, and variation in space use and movement patterns was observed among 26 individuals. Half of the individuals were recorded only in proximity of one receiver along the reef edge, while the other half were detected at multiple receivers and used horizontal areas of approximately 4 km^2. Periods of non-detection and lower detection frequency at night (χ(1)^2=342.157, P<0.001) indicated individuals may move away from the monitored reef edge to the adjacent sandy habitat, but most movements outside the array remain unknown. Long-distance movement was recorded for one individual, recaptured ~160 km from the release location. Generally, no trends in depth use were apparent, L. miniatus inhabited a variety of depths, which were not related to individual size or time of day, yet some effect of month was evident. Variation in movement among adult L. miniatus indicates that while some individuals undergo broader-scale movement, spatial closures that cover individual reefs (>4 km^2) could provide protection from fishing for the proportion of the population that displayed high site fidelity and moderate-sized activity spaces (over a period of up to 12 months).

Item ID: 36168
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Funders: School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University (JCU), AIMS@JCU, Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 11:15
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 50%
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