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Measuring the swimming behaviour of a reared Pacific bluefin tuna in a submerged aquaculture net cage

  • Kazuyoshi Komeyama (a1), Minoru Kadota (a2), Shinsuke Torisawa (a2), Katsuya Suzuki (a3), Yuichi Tsuda (a4) and Tsutomu Takagi (a2)...

Abstract

The swimming path of a reared Pacific bluefin tuna, Thunnus orientalis, was measured in a submerged aquaculture net cage to understand how reared fish use the space in such a cage. A bluefin tuna (fork length, FL, 0.51 m) was captured by angling in the cage, and two micro data loggers (PD3GT, Little Leonardo; DST Comp-Tilt, Star-Oddi) were attached to its body. The fish was then released back into the net cage. The PD3GT measured its swimming speed and depth at 1-s intervals and recorded these in flash memory. The DST Comp-Tilt measured the magnetic field strength at 1-s intervals and recorded the heading estimated from the magnetic field strength in flash memory. The fish moved through the water in the cage at speeds of 0.7–0.8 m s-1 and attained a maximum speed of 3.6 m s-1. Burst swims exceeding 2 m s-1 were confirmed only after dark and a significant difference was found between the daytime and night-time swimming speeds (p < 0.001). The fish moved at depths between 2 and 22 m, swimming near the bottom during the day and at 10–15 m at night, with a significant difference in swimming depth between day and night (p < 0.001). The swimming path reconstructed by dead reckoning was visualised using night-time data. For this period, the absolute speed was corrected from 0.75  ±  0.09 m s-1 to 0.71  ±  0.15 m s-1 by removing the accumulated error from the reconstruction vector. This study allowed us to examine the behaviour of a tagged tuna in three dimensions and is the first to monitor the behaviour of a bluefin tuna in a submerged net cage. Although only one fish was analysed, this study provides useful information on the space use of reared fish in aquaculture net cages. Future studies must obtain sufficient data to understand the underlying generalities of tuna behaviour.

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Corresponding author

bCorresponding author: komeyama@fish.kagoshima-u.ac.jp

References

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Keywords

Measuring the swimming behaviour of a reared Pacific bluefin tuna in a submerged aquaculture net cage

  • Kazuyoshi Komeyama (a1), Minoru Kadota (a2), Shinsuke Torisawa (a2), Katsuya Suzuki (a3), Yuichi Tsuda (a4) and Tsutomu Takagi (a2)...

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