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Spatial and temporal use of spawning aggregation sites by the tropical sciaenid Protonibea diacanthus


Semmens, JM and Buxton, CD and Forbes, E and Phelan, MJ, Spatial and temporal use of spawning aggregation sites by the tropical sciaenid Protonibea diacanthus, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 403, (March) pp. 193-203. ISSN 0171-8630 (2010) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2010 Inter-Research

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DOI: doi:10.3354/meps08469


Fish spawning aggregations (FSA) are generally spatially and temporally predictable, making them particularly vulnerable to fishing, which is capable of rapidly removing a significant proportion of the aggregated adults and reducing egg production. These effects may cause the loss of the aggregation altogether. In the Northern Territory (NT), Australia, repeated fishing of known aggregations of the tropical sciaenid species, the blackspotted croaker Protonibea diacanthus, is probably unsustainable, particularly given this species decline elsewhere. Acoustic monitoring was used to examine the temporal and spatial movement patterns and site fidelity of P. diacanthus in the NT. Fish were only detected at their respective aggregations, providing no evidence of large-scale movements between FSA. There was evidence for behavioural polymorphism in the aggregations, and fish monitored for _>1 yr showed decreased presence during cooler months and increased presence during warmer months when peak spawning occurs. The tidal cycle significantly influenced the detection of tagged fish, with detections peaking on running tides, the peak period for catching P. diacanthus, suggesting that this is when they feed. This study has provided important information on the connectivity and dynamics of P. diacanthus aggregations in the NT, including crucial information for implementing appropriate management strategies for this vulnerable species. There appears to be little interchange of adult P. diacanthus at the spatial scale examined, which suggests that the separate FSA examined support separate adult populations. The presence of seemingly separate spawning populations of P. diacanthus has significant implications for their management, with the potential for each aggregation to be vulnerable to localised depletion

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Spawning aggregatio Site fidelity Acoustic monitoring Sciaenidae Fisheries management Movement Tidal cycle
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - recreational freshwater
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
UTAS Author:Buxton, CD (Professor Colin Buxton)
UTAS Author:Forbes, E (Mr Edward Forbes)
ID Code:62977
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:TAFI - Marine Research Laboratory
Deposited On:2010-03-31
Last Modified:2012-03-05
Downloads:301 View Download Statistics

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