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Striped marlin (Tetrapturus audax) movements and habitat utilization during a summer and autumn in the Southwest Pacific Ocean

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Six striped marlin (Tetrapturus audax) were caught on hook and line from recreational fishing boats near northern New Zealand (34°S, 174°E) and tagged and released with pop-off satellite archival tags. For periods ranging from 22 to 60 days over the geographical range 168°E–170°W and 13–34°S, five tags collected a total of 202 days (range of 21–60 days) of data. These data permit the investigation of striped marlin geographical and vertical movements and water temperatures occupied from February to June 2003. One hundred and one days of geoposition data showed a preliminary view of their movements in and around New Zealand waters. Transmitted temperature and depth data indicated striped marlin spent 80% (±2%) of their time in the mixed layer including 72% (±2%) of their time in the top 5 m. Temperature data indicated 75% (±10%) of the striped marlin’s time was spent in water temperatures between 20.1 and 24.0°C. Tagged striped marlin moved faster during periods of directed movement away from New Zealand versus periods of passive movements when the fish were proximal to New Zealand or not moving in any specific direction. These data support some existing hypotheses about striped marlin physiological ecology and allow preliminary suggestions about how striped marlin bycatch might be reduced.

Keywords: New Zealand; geolocation; pop-off satellite tags; striped marlin

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Veterinary Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand 2: Bluewater Marine Research, Clements Road, RD3, Whangarei, New Zealand 3: Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2007


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