Hydroacoustic Observations of Fish Abundance and Behavior Around an Artificial Reef in Costa Rica
Abstract:The application of hydroacoustic techniques for study of the distribution and behavior of fish around artificial reefs was explored during April 1987 in the Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica. The investigation took place around a tire reef located about 0.7 km off the beach at Punta Leona and used both transecting and stationary hydroacoustic data acquisition modes. The transecting mode showed strong association of fish with the reef during the day, but widespread dispersion at night. These trends were confirmed by the on-and off-reef stationary transducers. In addition, the stationary, on-reef transducer showed unexpectedly high concentrations of fish which were surface-oriented, but clearly associated with the reef. These concentrations apparently avoided both the divers and the small boat used for the hydroacoustic transects. The results suggest that assessment by diver observation alone may seriously underestimate the fish abundance. Additional experiments showed that fish in the vicinity of the reef were strongly attracted to lights at night, indicating potential bias in visual observations with lights.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1989-03-01
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