Movements, Distribution and Growth Rates of the White Goatfish Mulloides Flavolineatus in a Fisheries Conservation Zone
The movements, growth rates and distribution of a population of white goatfish Mulloides flavolineatus were investigated using a combination of tag-and-release and sonic tracking techniques. The study site was a 137 km2 patch reef which has been a no-fishing conservation zone for over 30 years. The population showed high site fidelity; 93% of recaptures occurred at the release site, with times at liberty of up to 531 days. Tracking revealed crepuscular movements away from daytime schooling sites to consistent nighttime foraging grounds up to 600 m away. The route taken between daytime and nighttime habitats was the same each night. Suround-net quadrats were used to measure goatfish densities on the nighttime feeding grounds. The high site fidelity and limited range of diel movements of these fish indicate that quite small harvest refugia can serve to effectively protect populations of mature adults, and that for most of the year, emigration of adults into adjacent fisheries was minimal.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 May 1993
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