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Homing abilities of dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) displaced from fish aggregating devices (FADs) determined using ultrasonic telemetry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2008

Charlotte Girard
Affiliation:
IRD, UR Thetis, CRH, BP 171, 34230 Sète Cedex, France
Laurent Dagorn
Affiliation:
IRD, UR Thetis, CRH, BP 171, 34230 Sète Cedex, France
Marc Taquet
Affiliation:
IFREMER, CRH, BP 171, 34230 Sète Cedex, France
Riaz Aumeeruddy
Affiliation:
SFA, PO Box 449, Victoria, Seychelles
Christophe Peignon
Affiliation:
IRD, UR Thetis, PO Box 570, Victoria, Seychelles
Simon Benhamou
Affiliation:
CEFE CNRS, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
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Abstract

We conducted displacement experiments using acoustic tags to study the orientation abilities of dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) around FADs. Eleven fish were passively monitored using coded transmitters and acoustic receivers attached to FADs, while seven others were actively tracked with a vessel using continuous acoustic tags equipped with pressure sensors. All these 18 dolphinfish were captured close to a FAD and released between 70 and 1720 m from it. Five fish out of the 14 that were displaced at more than 360 m from a FAD (estimated detection range of our acoustic receivers, defining the target area during our experiment) returned to the target area. With one individual successfully returning to the target area after having been released at 1600 m from the FAD, the rate of return of fish released up to this distance was significantly higher than expected if they were moving at random, but many fish released at intermediate distances moved in other directions. Based on detailed statistical analysis of the return score, we estimated that dolphinfish are able to orientate towards a FAD area from at least 820 m. The connection between our definition of the target area and the association area of dolphinfish around a FAD is discussed, as well as the impact of stress and motivation in the rates of return observed. More experiments should be conducted to improve this first estimate. Specific experiments should also be designed to more accurately determine the association range of fish around FADs and their motivation to orientate towards FADs.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD, 2008

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Homing abilities of dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) displaced from fish aggregating devices (FADs) determined using ultrasonic telemetry
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