Movements of Flyingfish (Hirundichthys Affinis) in the Eastern Caribbean
A total of 3,559 flyingfish (Hirundichthys affinis) were tagged and released at three locations across the eastern Caribbean (Barbados, Dominica and Tobago) at the beginning of the 1988 fishing season (January and February) and at Tobago near the end of the season (May), to examine the extent and direction of their subsequent movements. A further 3,460 flyingfish were tagged and released at Tobago during the 1989 fishing season, between January and May, to examine seasonal variation in movements. Overall recapture rate was 4.5%. Post-tagging survival was not affected by sex or by the method of capture at tagging. However, recapture rates varied with both place and time of release. Total recapture rates were highest for fish released at Tobago and lowest for fish released at Dominica. Total recapture rates off Tobago were highest for fish released near the beginning (January/February) and at the peak (March/April) of the fishing season, and lowest for fish released near the end of the season (May). Some fish remained in the release location for several weeks. However, there was considerable mixing of adult flyingfish among eastern Caribbean islands, with 10% of all recaptures being from territorial waters other than those in which the fish were released. This suggests that H. affinis in the eastern Caribbean is probably not segregated into island-specific populations. Dispersion migrations were recorded in all directions, although northwesterly was most common. Dispersion rate was not affected by fish size or sex, but varied with maturity state and time of year at release. Fish at maturity Stages 2 (maturing) and 3 (mature) showed greater dispersion than fish in Stages 4 (running ripe) and 5 (spent). For flyingfish released at Tobago, dispersion was greatest in the early part of the year and decreased steadily through the season.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1994-01-01
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