Coastal fish farms are settlement sites for juvenile fish

Fernandez-Jover, Damian, Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo, Bayle-Sempere, Just T, Arechavala-Lopez, Pablo, Martinez-Rubio, Laura, Lopez Jimenez, Jose Angel, and Javier Martinez Lopez, Francisco (2009) Coastal fish farms are settlement sites for juvenile fish. Marine Environmental Research, 68 (2). pp. 89-96.

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Two south-west Mediterranean fish farms were monitored over a period of 22 months to test if sea-cage fish farms act as settlement habitats for juvenile fish. Twenty juvenile fish species were found to settle at farms throughout the year. Fish assemblage composition varied markedly over time and was dependent on the spawning period for each species. The most abundant species were Oblada melanura, Atherina sp., Diplodus sargus, Boops boops and Liza aurata. Up to 3783 ± 1730 individuals/cage were found closely associated with the cages. Highest densities were observed during the warmer summer and autumn months. Zooplankton sampling and stomach content analyses of the most abundant species were done to assess prey availability, selectivity and diet overlap among species. Copepods were the main prey item for all juvenile fish species, irrespective of fish size. Ivlev’s Index indicated that food was not a limiting factor for juvenile fish at farms. Furthermore, food pellets from the farm affected the food chain by modifying the fatty acid profiles of farm-associated zooplankton and juveniles of L. aurata and O. melanura. These results show that aquaculture can directly influence the body composition of juvenile fish that recruit to sea-cage fish farms.

Item ID: 7865
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0141-1136
Keywords: Juvenile fish, Fatty acid, Biomarker, Zooplankton, Stomach content, marine science, fish biology and physiology Diet Aquaculture impact
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2009 01:46
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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