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Influence of spear guns, dive gear and observers on estimating fish flight initiation distance on coral reefs


Januchowski-Hartley, FA and Nash, KL and Lawton, RJ, Influence of spear guns, dive gear and observers on estimating fish flight initiation distance on coral reefs, Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 469 pp. 113-119. ISSN 0171-8630 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Inter-Research

DOI: doi:10.3354/meps09971


Fish flight initiation distance (FID) is emerging as a useful metric of the response of fishes to fishing, with significant differences in FID demonstrated between fished and no-take marine reserves. However, studies investigating FID vary in methodology, and many of the potential confounding effects inherent to in-water estimation of FID have yet to be investigated. Here we examined relative effects of spear guns, dive gear, observer bias and protection status on FID estimates. Three observers estimated FID of parrotfishes in both a fished area and a no-take marine reserve, via both SCUBA and free-diving, and with and without a simulated spear gun (8 treatments). We found that FID was significantly influenced by protection status, increasing by 141 cm on average in the fished area compared to the no-take marine reserve, but not by dive type or spear gun presence. While there were some differences between observersí mean estimate of FID, there was no evidence of observer bias, nor were there any significant differences in the precision of FID estimates between observers. Overall, management status explained almost 60% of the variation in FID estimates, while observers accounted for only 4%.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:approach distance, marine reserve, fish behaviour, Scaridae, fishing effects, confounding variables, coral reef fishes, Vanuatu
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Nash, KL (Dr Kirsty Nash)
ID Code:107679
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:45
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2016-03-22
Last Modified:2017-11-04

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