eCite Digital Repository

Network analysis of acoustic tracking data reveals the structure and stability of fish aggregations in the ocean


Stehfest, K and Patterson, TA and Dagorn, L and Holland, KN and Itano, D and Semmens, JM, Network analysis of acoustic tracking data reveals the structure and stability of fish aggregations in the ocean, Animal Behaviour, 85, (4) pp. 839-848. ISSN 0003-3472 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.02.003


Aggregations in the distribution of individuals are an almost universal phenomenon in living organisms. Groups of animals that display collective coordinated movement without forming stable social bonds such as fish schools are a special type of aggregation. In tropical tuna fisheries, aggregating behaviour is directly exploited through the use of artificial fish aggregating devices (FADs). Hence, understanding the dynamics of schooling behaviour and the potential impacts of FADs upon it may have ramifications for tuna management. As a novel way of quantifying spatiotemporal co-occurrences of animals, we applied network statistics to acoustic tracking data to identify the co-occurrences of individual yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares, in an array of FADs and determine the frequency and temporal dynamics of these co-occurrences. We observed large interannual variation in movement rates of tuna between FADs, and corresponding interannual variability in the mean number of spatiotemporal associates for each individual as well as the temporal stability of associations. When movement rates were high, associations within FAD aggregations decayed to randomness three times faster than when movement rates were lower. This raises the possibility that if FADs are sufficiently close for fish to perform frequent between- FAD movements, school mixing may be increased and cohesion reduced.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:acoustic tagging,aggregation,association,collective motion,co-occurrence,fishery,Hawai’i,network analysis,Thunnus albacares,yellowfin tuna
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:Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna)
UTAS Author:Stehfest, K (Dr Kilian Stehfest)
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
ID Code:88195
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2014-01-17
Last Modified:2014-05-13

Repository Staff Only: item control page