Effective area fished by Antillean fish traps
Abstract:A SCUBA method for censusing exposed and moderately cryptic species of reef fish over an area as large as a few hectares is described. This was used to census the fish community on two reefs in Barbados, West Indies. Replicate fish censuses of four taxa revealed that mean density per reef remained unchanged between samples taken days apart, but density in 30 × 30 m sampling units changed in < 1 h. Density of a fifth taxon (squirrelfish) remained unchanged between replicate samples of the whole reef as well as individual sampling units. Fish traps of a design commonly used in commercial fisheries in the Caribbean were calibrated for "effective area fished." Seven calibrations for five taxa gave a range of 135–348 m2/trap. These calibrations, combined with catches from trapping surveys, might be used as a convenient but imprecise method for estimating absolute fish abundance.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 1987
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