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Free Content Post-larval and Juvenile Scombrids Captured in Light Traps: Preliminary Results from the Central Great Barrier Reef Lagoon

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Light traps were used to catch post-larval and juvenile scombrids from the coastal waters of the central Great Barrier Reef. A total of 200 scombrid larvae and juveniles, representing at least six taxa, were caught during sampling periods October to January, 1988–1990, The individuals captured in the light traps provided unique specimens of small Scomberomorus, Cybiosarda elegans, Eurhynnus affinis and Thunnus species from this area. Comparison of size-frequencies showed that light traps collected larger individuals than did a standard trawl net. A multi-gear sampling strategy, utilizing both towed nets and light traps, would provide a more complete description of the distribution and abundance patterns of small scombrids than either technique in isolation. Scombrid abundances were highly variable, with a maximum catch of 13 fish in a single trap in an hour. A single station on a single night accounted for almost 50% of the scombrids captured in 1988. This patch, which consisted of Scomberomorus and Thunnus species, was coherent over at least 1 km. All scombrid species were relatively abundant at stations 16–24 km from the coast. This corresponded to the position of a coastal boundary layer in the area—the significance of this boundary layer to the distributions of small scombrids is not yet known. Light traps, which can simultaneously sample large volumes of water over a range of spatial scales, may prove a cost-effective and efficient way of sampling post-larval and juvenile scombrids.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1993-03-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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