Comparison of Catch and Recreational Anglers Fishing on Artificial Reefs and Natural Seabed in Gulf St. Vincent, South Australia
Abstract:The ability of artificial reefs to enhance fishing success was evaluated in Gulf St. Vincent, South Australia. A 12-month creel survey provided data on the utilization, catch composition and catch rates of anglers fishing over artificial tire reefs and adjacent natural seabed sites. A low percentage of anglers (6.4%) fished on the artificial reefs, although the fishing intensity (angler-hours per unit area) was 92–171 times higher than for surrounding natural seabed areas. Effort was seasonably variable and significantly higher on weekends than weekdays. Catch rates of abundant taxa were compared between artificial and natural sites. Of 27 comparisons. 5 yielded significantly higher catch rates on artificial habitats and 9 on natural sites; the remainder were not significantly different. Artificial habitats showed enhanced catch rates of pelagic species while natural seabed favored demersal taxa. The artificial reefs yielded 7.5% of the total catch of the study area. Higher taxon richness was recorded for natural seabed areas than for artificial reefs (47 and 29 taxa respectively), with 18 taxa recorded as being unique to natural seabed areas. Shannon-Wiener diversity was significantly higher for all natural habitats when compared to artificial habitats, for both individual and pooled data, and showed a significant positive correlation with species richness.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1994
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