Spawning aggregation dynamics of brown-marbled grouper and camouflage grouper at a remote Indian Ocean atoll

Bijoux, Jude, Dagorn, Laurent, Cowley, Paul D., Simier, Monique, Adam, Pierre-André, and Robinson, Jan (2013) Spawning aggregation dynamics of brown-marbled grouper and camouflage grouper at a remote Indian Ocean atoll. Endangered Species Research, 22 (2). pp. 145-157.

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The protection of grouper spawning aggregations is a global conservation issue: populations of many grouper species are threatened with collapse due to exploitation of this critical life history behaviour by fisheries. Effective protection of spawning aggregations requires information on spawning site fidelity, residence time and timing of arrivals at, and departures from, the site. To estimate these parameters at a spawning aggregation site at Farquhar Atoll, southern Seychelles, 12 brown-marbled groupers Epinephelus fuscoguttatus and 20 camouflage groupers E. polyphekadion were tagged with acoustic transmitters, and their presence and absence was monitored by an array of acoustic receivers positioned at the site over 2 spawning seasons (2010/2011 and 2011/2012). Spawning aggregations formed during 3 consecutive spawning months each season and overlapped spatially and temporally in the 2 species. Intra- and inter-season site fidelity was high, with 91.7% of tagged E. fuscoguttatus and 89.5% of tagged E. polyphekadion detected at the site 1 yr after tagging. The majority (2010/2011: 82.4%, 2011/2012: 80.0%) of fish detected in a spawning season visited the site during at least 2 spawning months. Residence time at the fish spawning aggregation site was influenced by sex (E. fuscoguttatus only) and spawning month (both species). Distinct periodicity in lunar timing of arrivals and departures was observed in both species. This study highlights the spatio-temporal scales involved during spawning aggregations of 2 long-lived, slow-growing coral reef fishes, which need to be considered for their effective management.

Item ID: 37013
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1613-4796
Keywords: spawning aggregation dynamics, lunar and diel periodicity, residence time, site fidelity, groupers, Epinephelus, Seychelles
Funders: Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Associations Marine Science for Management Program (MASMA), Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA)
Projects and Grants: MASMA Grant No. MASMA/OR/2008/06
Date Deposited: 25 May 2015 03:10
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 100%
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