ResearchPad - marine-fish https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Sustainability management of short-lived freshwater fish in human-altered ecosystems should focus on adult survival]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7859 Fish populations globally are susceptible to endangerment through exploitation and habitat loss. We present theoretical simulations to explore how reduced adult survival (age truncation) might affect short-lived freshwater fish species in human-altered contemporary environments. Our simulations evaluate two hypothetical "average fish" and five example fish species of age 1 or age 2 maturity. From a population equilibrium baseline representing a natural, unaltered environment we impose systematic reductions in adult survival and quantify how age truncation affects the causes of variation in population growth rate. We estimate the relative contributions to population growth rate arising from simulated temporal variation in age-specific vital rates and population structure. At equilibrium and irrespective of example species, population structure (first adult age class) and survival probability of the first two adult age classes are the most important determinants of population growth. As adult survival decreases, the first reproductive age class becomes increasingly important to variation in population growth. All simulated examples show the same general pattern of change with age truncation as known for exploited, longer-lived fish species in marine and freshwater environments. This implies age truncation is a general potential concern for fish biodiversity across life history strategies and ecosystems. Managers of short-lived, freshwater fishes in contemporary environments often focus on supporting reproduction to ensure population persistence. However, a strong focus on water management to support reproduction may reduce adult survival. Sustainability management needs a focus on mitigating adult mortality in human-altered ecosystems. A watershed spatial extent embracing land and water uses may be necessary to identify and mitigate causes of age truncation in freshwater species. Achieving higher adult survival will require paradigm transformations in society and government about water management priorities.

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<![CDATA[The 2015-2016 El Niño increased infection parameters of copepods on Eastern Tropical Pacific dolphinfish populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7672 The oceanographic conditions of the Pacific Ocean are largely modified by El Niño (EN), affecting several ecological processes. Parasites and other marine organisms respond to environmental variation, but the influence of the EN cycle on the seasonal variation of parasitic copepods has not been yet evaluated. We analysed the relation between infection parameters (prevalence and mean intensity) of the widespread parasitic copepods Caligus bonito and Charopinopsis quaternia in the dolphinfish Coryphaena hippurus and oceanography during the strong 2015–16 EN. Fish were collected from capture fisheries on the Ecuadorian coast (Tropical Eastern Pacific) over a 2-year period. Variations of sea surface temperature (SST), salinity, chlorophyll a (Chl-a), Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), total host length (TL) and monthly infection parameters of both copepod species were analysed using time series and cross-correlations. We used the generalised additive models for determine the relationship between environmental variables and infection parameters. The total body length of the ovigerous females and the length of the eggs of C. bonito were measured in both periods. Infection parameters of both C. bonito and Ch. quaternia showed seasonal and annual patterns associated with the variation of environmental variables examined (SST, salinity, Chl-a and ONI 1+2). Infection parameters of both copepod species were significantly correlated with ONI 1+2, SST, TL and Chl-a throughout the GAMLSS model, and the explained deviance contribution ranged from 16%-36%. Our results suggest than an anomaly higher than +0.5°C triggers a risen in infection parameters of both parasitic copepods. This risen could be related to increases in egg length, female numbers and the total length of the ovigerous females in EN period. This study provides the first evidence showing that tropical parasitic copepods are sensitive to the influence of EN event, especially from SST variations. The observed behaviour of parasitic copepods likely affects the host populations and structure of the marine ecosystem at different scales.

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<![CDATA[Identifying species threatened with local extinction in tropical reef fisheries using historical reconstruction of species occurrence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca12d5eed0c48452a736

Identifying the species that are at risk of local extinction in highly diverse ecosystems is a big challenge for conservation science. Assessments of species status are costly and difficult to implement in developing countries with diverse ecosystems due to a lack of species-specific surveys, species-specific data, and other resources. Numerous techniques are devised to determine the threat status of species based on the availability of data and budgetary limits. On this basis, we developed a framework that compared occurrence data of historically exploited reef species in Kenya from existing disparate data sources. Occurrence data from archaeological remains (750-1500CE) was compared with occurrence data of these species catch assessments, and underwater surveys (1991-2014CE). This comparison indicated that only 67 species were exploited over a 750 year period, 750-1500CE, whereas 185 species were landed between 1995 and 2014CE. The first step of our framework identified 23 reef species as threatened with local extinction. The second step of the framework further evaluated the possibility of local extinction with Bayesian extinction analyses using occurrence data from naturalists’ species list with the existing occurrence data sources. The Bayesian extinction analysis reduced the number of reef species threatened with local extinction from 23 to 15. We compared our findings with three methods used for assessing extinction risk. Commonly used extinction risk methods varied in their ability to identify reef species that we identified as threatened with local extinction by our comparative and Bayesian method. For example, 12 of the 15 threatened species that we identified using our framework were listed as either least concern, unevaluated, or data deficient in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature red list. Piscivores and macro-invertivores were the only functional groups found to be locally extinct. Comparing occurrence data from disparate sources revealed a large number of historically exploited reef species that are possibly locally extinct. Our framework addressed biases such as uncertainty in priors, sightings and survey effort, when estimating the probability of local extinction. Our inexpensive method showed the value and potential for disparate data to fill knowledge gaps that exist in species extinction assessments.

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<![CDATA[Marine environmental DNA biomonitoring reveals seasonal patterns in biodiversity and identifies ecosystem responses to anomalous climatic events]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730a5d5eed0c484f37e31

Marine ecosystems are changing rapidly as the oceans warm and become more acidic. The physical factors and the changes to ocean chemistry that they drive can all be measured with great precision. Changes in the biological composition of communities in different ocean regions are far more challenging to measure because most biological monitoring methods focus on a limited taxonomic or size range. Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis has the potential to solve this problem in biological oceanography, as it is capable of identifying a huge phylogenetic range of organisms to species level. Here we develop and apply a novel multi-gene molecular toolkit to eDNA isolated from bulk plankton samples collected over a five-year period from a single site. This temporal scale and level of detail is unprecedented in eDNA studies. We identified consistent seasonal assemblages of zooplankton species, which demonstrates the ability of our toolkit to audit community composition. We were also able to detect clear departures from the regular seasonal patterns that occurred during an extreme marine heatwave. The integration of eDNA analyses with existing biotic and abiotic surveys delivers a powerful new long-term approach to monitoring the health of our world’s oceans in the context of a rapidly changing climate.

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<![CDATA[Environmental DNA metabarcoding for fish community analysis in backwater lakes: A comparison of capture methods]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca318d5eed0c48441f14d

The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) methods for community analysis has recently been developed. High-throughput parallel DNA sequencing (HTS), called eDNA metabarcoding, has been increasingly used in eDNA studies to examine multiple species. However, eDNA metabarcoding methodology requires validation based on traditional methods in all natural ecosystems before a reliable method can be established. To date, relatively few studies have performed eDNA metabarcoding of fishes in aquatic environments where fish communities were intensively surveyed using multiple traditional methods. Here, we have compared fish communities’ data from eDNA metabarcoding with seven conventional multiple capture methods in 31 backwater lakes in Hokkaido, Japan. We found that capture and field surveys of fishes were often interrupted by macrophytes and muddy sediments in the 31 lakes. We sampled 1 L of the surface water and analyzed eDNA using HTS. We also surveyed the fish communities using seven different capture methods, including various types of nets and electrofishing. At some sites, we could not detect any eDNA, presumably because of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) inhibition. We also detected the marine fish species as sewage-derived eDNA. Comparisons of eDNA metabarcoding and capture methods showed that the detected fish communities were similar between the two methods, with an overlap of 70%. Thus, our study suggests that to detect fish communities in backwater lakes, the performance of eDNA metabarcoding with the use of 1 L surface water sampling is similar to that of capturing methods. Therefore, eDNA metabarcoding can be used for fish community analysis but environmental factors that can cause PCR inhibition, should be considered in eDNA applications.

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<![CDATA[Rapa Nui (Easter Island) monument (ahu) locations explained by freshwater sources]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7d9d5eed0c484386ad7

Explaining the processes underlying the emergence of monument construction is a major theme in contemporary anthropological archaeology, and recent studies have employed spatially-explicit modeling to explain these patterns. Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) is famous for its elaborate ritual architecture, particularly numerous monumental platforms (ahu) and statuary (moai). To date, however, we lack explicit modeling to explain spatial and temporal aspects of monument construction. Here, we use spatially-explicit point-process modeling to explore the potential relations between ahu construction locations and subsistence resources, namely, rock mulch agricultural gardens, marine resources, and freshwater sources—the three most critical resources on Rapa Nui. Through these analyses, we demonstrate the central importance of coastal freshwater seeps for precontact populations. Our results suggest that ahu locations are most parsimoniously explained by distance from freshwater sources, in particular coastal seeps, with important implications for community formation and inter-community competition in precontact times.

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<![CDATA[Aggregation process of drifting fish aggregating devices (DFADs) in the Western Indian Ocean: Who arrives first, tuna or non-tuna species?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478cabd5eed0c484bd3cb0

Floating objects drifting in the surface of tropical waters, also known as drifting fish aggregating devices (DFADs), attract hundreds of marine species, including tuna and non-tuna species. Industrial tropical purse seiners have been increasingly deploying artificial man-made DFADs equipped with satellite linked echo-sounder buoys, which provide fishers with information on the accurate geo-location of the object and rough estimates of the biomass aggregated underneath, to facilitate the catch of tuna. Although several hypotheses are under consideration to explain the aggregation and retention processes of pelagic species around DFADs, the reasons driving this associative behavior are uncertain. This study uses information from 962 echo-sounder buoys attached to virgin (i.e. newly deployed) DFADs deployed in the Western Indian Ocean between 2012 and 2015 by the Spanish fleet (42,322 days observations) to determine the first detection day of tuna and non-tuna species at DFAD and to model the aggregation processes of both species group using Generalize Additive Mixed Models. Moreover, different seasons, areas and depths of the DFAD underwater structure were considered in the analysis to account for potential spatio-temporal and structure differences. Results show that tuna species arrive at DFADs before non-tuna species (13.5±8.4 and 21.7±15.1 days, respectively), and provide evidence of the significant relationship between DFAD depth and detection time for tuna, suggesting faster tuna colonization in deeper objects. For non-tuna species, this relationship appeared to be not significant. The study also reveals both seasonal and spatial differences in the aggregation patterns for different species groups, suggesting that tuna and non-tuna species may have different aggregative behaviors depending on the spatio-temporal dynamic of DFADs. This work will contribute to the understanding of the fine and mesoscale ecology and behavior of target and non-target species around DFADs and will assist managers on the sustainability of exploited resources, helping to design spatio-temporal conservation management measures for tuna and non-tuna species.

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<![CDATA[Illegal recreational fishing causes a decline in a fishery targeted species (Snapper: Chrysophrys auratus) within a remote no-take marine protected area]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4febd5eed0c484d7a6b7

One role of Marine Protected Areas is to protect biodiversity; however, illegal fishing activity can reduce the effectiveness of protection. Quantifying illegal fishing effort within no-take MPAs is difficult and the impacts of illegal fishing on biodiversity are poorly understood. To provide an assessment of illegal fishing activity, a surveillance camera was deployed at the Seal Rocks no-take area within the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park from April 2017-March 2018. To assess impacts of illegal fishing activity in the no-take area, Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVs) were used to quantify abundance and size of snapper Chrysophrys auratus from 2011–2017. BRUVs were also deployed at two nearby fished locations and two other no-take areas to allow comparison. Over 12 months of camera surveillance, a total of 108 recreational vessels were observed illegally fishing within the no-take area (avg 9.0 ± 0.9 per month). The greatest number of vessels detected in a single month was 14 and the longest a vessel was observed fishing was ~ 6 hours. From 2011–2017, the abundance of C. auratus within the Seal Rocks no-take area significantly declined by 55%, whilst the abundance within the other fished areas and no-take areas did not significantly decline over the same period. Lengths of C. auratus in the Seal Rocks no-take area were significantly smaller in 2017 compared to 2013 which was driven by a decline in the number of legal sized fish over 30 cm. Based on mean number of illegal fishers per vessel recorded in the no-take area, and an allowable bag limit of 10 C. auratus per person, it is possible that more than 2,000 C. auratus are removed annually from this no-take area. There is a strong likelihood that illegal recreational fishing is causing a reduction on a fishery targeted species within a no-take MPA and measures need to be implemented to reduce the ongoing illegal fishing pressure.

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<![CDATA[Largescale mullet (Planiliza macrolepis) can recover from thermal pollution-induced malformations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0993d3d5eed0c4842ada20

It is well known in aquaculture that hyperthermic perturbations may cause skeleton malformations in fish, but this phenomenon has rarely been documented in wild species. One rare location where thermal pollution has increased the proportion of malformed fish in wild population is in the waters near the Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Taiwan. At this site, the threshold temperature and critical exposure time for inducing deformations have not been previously determined. In addition, it was unclear whether juvenile fish with thermal-induced malformations are able to recover when the temperature returns below the threshold. In the present study, juvenile largescale mullet (Planiliza macrolepis) were kept at temperatures ranging from 26°C and 36°C for 1–4 weeks, after which malformed fish were maintained at a preferred temperature of 26°C for another 8 weeks. The vertebrae bending index (VBI) of fish was increased after 2 weeks at 36°C, and deformed vertebral columns were detected by radiography after 4 weeks. However, malformations were not observed in groups kept at or below 34°C. Moreover, at the end of the recovery period, both the VBI and the vertebrae malformations had returned to normal. The results of this study may help to more precisely determine potential environmental impacts of thermal pollution and raise the possibility that the capacity for fish vertebrae to recover from the impacts of chronic thermal exposures may be an important consideration in marine fish conservation.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of a Brain Acetylcholinesterase Extraction Method and Kinetic Constants after Methyl-Paraoxon Inhibition in Three Brazilian Fish Species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daacab0ee8fa60ba9ad6

Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is an important enzyme in the control of the neuronal action potential and sensitive to organophosphate inhibition. Brain fish AChE is less sensitive to organophosphate inhibition than AChE from terrestrial animals, although this sensitivity is variable among species and has not yet been fully evaluated in fish species. In this setting, inhibition kinetic constants for progressive irreversible inhibition of brain acetylcholinesterase due to methyl-paraoxon exposure were determined in three fish species (Mugil liza, Genidens genidens and Lagocephalus laevigatus) and hen (Gallus domesticus). Enzyme extraction using a detergent was shown to be adequate, and samples presented activity inhibition in high substrate concentrations and suppression of inhibition by methyl-paraoxon in the presence of the substrate, similar to kinetic patterns from purified enzyme preparations. Catfish (G. genidens) AChE presented the highest sensitivity among the evaluated fish species (IC50 = 1031.20 nM ± 63.17) in comparison to M. liza and L. laevigatus (IC50: 2878.83 ± 421.94 and 2842.5 ± 144.63 nM respectively). The lower dissociation constant (Kd = 20.3 ± 2.95 μM) of catfish AChE showed greater enzyme affinity for methyl-paraoxon, explaining this species higher sensitivity to organophosphates. Hen AChE presented higher ki (900.57 ± 65.3 mM-1min-1) and, consequently, greater sensitivity to methyl-paraoxon, explained by a lower Kd (0.6 ± 0.13 μM). Furthermore, hen AChE did not differentiate between the propionylthiocholine and acetylthiocholine substrates, indicating easier access of methyl-paraoxon to the hen enzyme activity site. The results obtained herein indicate a suitable extraction of AChE and, despite different inhibition kinetic constants, demonstrate that fish AChE is less sensitive to methyl-paraoxon, probably due to reduced access to the catalytic center which provides greater enzyme substrate selectivity.

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<![CDATA[A dual pathways transfer model to account for changes in the radioactive caesium level in demersal and pelagic fish after the Fukushima Daï-ichi nuclear power plant accident]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbcc0

The Fukushima Daï-ichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) accident resulted in radioactive Cs being discharged into the local marine environment. While Cs bioaccumulates in biota and slowly depurates, the Cs concentrated in biota constitutes a source of Cs for animals feeding on each other. The marine biota therefore serves as a pool that recycles Cs, and this recycling process delays depuration in the fish feeding on this biota pool. Because the continental shelf is squeezed between the coast and very deep sea, the demersal marine species are confined to a narrow strip along the coast, close to the source of the radioactive input. Unlike demersal species, however, pelagic species are not restricted to the most contaminated area but instead spend some, if not most, of their time and feeding off-shore, far from the input source. We suggest that the feeding pathway for fish is a box whose size depends on their mobility, and that this feeding box is much larger and less contaminated (because of dilution through distance) for pelagic fish than for demersal fish. The aim of this paper is to test this hypothesis and to propose a simple operational model implementing two transfer routes: from seawater and from feeding. The model is then used to match the observational data in the aftermath of the FDNPP accident.

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<![CDATA[Dietary Lipid Sources Influence Fatty Acid Composition in Tissue of Large Yellow Croaker (Larmichthys crocea) by Regulating Triacylglycerol Synthesis and Catabolism at the Transcriptional Level]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb46f5

An 8-week feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary lipid sources on growth performance, fatty acid composition, rate-limiting enzyme activities and gene expression related to lipid metabolism in large yellow croaker (Larmichthys crocea). Five iso-nitrogenous and iso-lipidic experimental diets were formulated to contain different lipid sources, such as fish oil (FO), soybean oil (SO), linseed oil (LO), rapeseed oil (RO) and peanut oil (PO), respectively. Triplicate groups of 50 fish (initial weight 13.77±0.07g) were stocked in 15 floating net cages (1.5m×1.5m×2.0m). Fish fed the diets containing RO and LO had lower weight gain and specific growth rates than those fed the FO, SO and PO diets. Survival, feed efficiency, protein efficiency ratio, hepatosomatic index, viscerasomatic index and condition factor were not significantly affected by different dietary lipid sources. Fish fed the diet containing FO had higher lipid content in whole body compared with the other groups, whereas fish fed the SO diet had the lowest muscle lipid content. Fatty acid profiles of muscle and liver reflected the fatty acid composition of the diets. Plasma glucose, triglyceride, and the enzymatic activity of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase were significantly influenced by different dietary lipid sources, while total protein, cholesterol, superoxide dismutase or malondialdehyde in plasma were not affected by the different dietary lipid sources. Fish fed the LO diet had lower adipose triglyceride lipase and fatty acid synthase activities in liver than those fed the diets containing FO and RO, while the LO diet resulted in the highest hepatic carnitine palmitoultransferase-1 activity. Hepatic gene relative expression of adipose triglyceride lipase and carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 in fish fed PO diet was significantly higher than all other groups, whereas fish fed the SO and LO diets had lower relative expression levels of lipoprotein lipase than the other groups. The highest relative expression levels of fatty acid synthase and acyl-CoA diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 were observed in the FO group, while the highest relative expression of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase occurred in fish fed the FO and RO diets. In summary, based on the growth performance, FO and SO appear to be suitable lipid sources for large yellow croaker, with the findings of this study also providing a molecular insight into the role of lipid metabolic mechanism in response to different dietary lipid sources.

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<![CDATA[Non-Random Variability in Functional Composition of Coral Reef Fish Communities along an Environmental Gradient]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6aab0ee8fa60b929e4

Changes in the coral reef complex can affect predator-prey relationships, resource availability and niche utilisation in the associated fish community, which may be reflected in decreased stability of the functional traits present in a community. This is because particular traits may be favoured by a changing environment, or by habitat degradation. Furthermore, other traits can be selected against because degradation can relax the association between fishes and benthic habitat. We characterised six important ecological traits for fish species occurring at seven sites across a disturbed coral reef archipelago in Indonesia, where reefs have been exposed to eutrophication and destructive fishing practices for decades. Functional diversity was assessed using two complementary indices (FRic and RaoQ) and correlated to important environmental factors (live coral cover and rugosity, representing local reef health, and distance from shore, representing a cross-shelf environmental gradient). Indices were examined for both a change in their mean, as well as temporal (short-term; hours) and spatial (cross-shelf) variability, to assess whether fish-habitat association became relaxed along with habitat degradation. Furthermore, variability in individual traits was examined to identify the traits that are most affected by habitat change. Increases in the general reef health indicators, live coral cover and rugosity (correlated with distance from the mainland), were associated with decreases in the variability of functional diversity and with community-level changes in the abundance of several traits (notably home range size, maximum length, microalgae, detritus and small invertebrate feeding and reproductive turnover). A decrease in coral cover increased variability of RaoQ while rugosity and distance both inversely affected variability of FRic; however, averages for these indices did not reveal patterns associated with the environment. These results suggest that increased degradation of coral reefs is associated with increased variability in fish community functional composition resulting from selective impacts on specific traits, thereby affecting the functional response of these communities to increasing perturbations.

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<![CDATA[An Enduring Shell Artefact Tradition from Timor-Leste: Oliva Bead Production from the Pleistocene to Late Holocene at Jerimalai, Lene Hara, and Matja Kuru 1 and 2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da26ab0ee8fa60b80be9

In this paper, we describe 485 Oliva spp. shell beads recovered from four archaeological cave sites Jerimalai, Lene Hara, Matja Kuru 1, and Matja Kuru 2, located in Timor-Leste, Island Southeast Asia. While Pleistocene-aged examples of modified marine shells used for personal ornamentation are common in African and Eurasian assemblages, they are exceedingly rare in Southeast Asia, leading some researchers to suggest that these Modern Human societies were less complex than those found further west. In Timor-Leste, the lowest Oliva bead to be recovered was directly dated to ca. 37,000 cal. BP, making it the oldest piece of personal ornamentation in Southeast Asia. Morphometric, taphonomic, use wear, and residue analyses of these beads alongside modern reference specimens, and experimentally made examples indicate that the Oliva shells were modified to be strung consecutively (as in a necklace), and while their mode of production changed remarkably little over the thousands of years they were utilised, an increase in their deposition around 6,000 cal. BP suggests that there was a change in their use coinciding with sea-level stabilisation. These tiny beads demonstrate that early Island Southeast Asian societies produced the same kinds of symbolic material culture we have come to expect from the more intensively studied African/Eurasian region, and that limited sampling and poor recovery methods have biased our perspectives of this region.

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<![CDATA[Timing and locations of reef fish spawning off the southeastern United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbd75

Managed reef fish in the Atlantic Ocean of the southeastern United States (SEUS) support a multi-billion dollar industry. There is a broad interest in locating and protecting spawning fish from harvest, to enhance productivity and reduce the potential for overfishing. We assessed spatiotemporal cues for spawning for six species from four reef fish families, using data on individual spawning condition collected by over three decades of regional fishery-independent reef fish surveys, combined with a series of predictors derived from bathymetric features. We quantified the size of spawning areas used by reef fish across many years and identified several multispecies spawning locations. We quantitatively identified cues for peak spawning and generated predictive maps for Gray Triggerfish (Balistes capriscus), White Grunt (Haemulon plumierii), Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus), Vermilion Snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens), Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata), and Scamp (Mycteroperca phenax). For example, Red Snapper peak spawning was predicted in 24.7–29.0°C water prior to the new moon at locations with high curvature in the 24–30 m depth range off northeast Florida during June and July. External validation using scientific and fishery-dependent data collections strongly supported the predictive utility of our models. We identified locations where reconfiguration or expansion of existing marine protected areas would protect spawning reef fish. We recommend increased sampling off southern Florida (south of 27° N), during winter months, and in high-relief, high current habitats to improve our understanding of timing and location of reef fish spawning off the southeastern United States.

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<![CDATA[Influence of Benthic Macrofauna as a Spatial Structuring Agent for Juvenile Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) on the Eastern Scotian Shelf, Atlantic Canada]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d8ab0ee8fa60b66769

We examined the habitat of juvenile haddock on the eastern Scotian Shelf (off Nova Scotia, Canada) in relation to grab-sampled benthic macrofaunal invertebrate species assemblages in order to determine whether there were significant differences in benthic macrofauna between areas of historically persistent high and low juvenile haddock abundance. Our analyses were conducted over two spatial scales in each of two years: among banks (Emerald, Western and Sable Island), approximately 60 km distant from each other, and between areas of high and low juvenile haddock abundance at distances of 10 to 30 km–all in an area that had not experienced groundfishing in the decade prior to sampling. We also examined fine-scale (10s of metres) within-site variability in the macrofauna and used surficial sediment characteristics, along with hydrographic variables, to identify environmental correlates. PERMANOVA identified statistically significant differences in biomass, density and composition of the benthos associated with juvenile haddock abundance; however it was difficult to determine whether the results had biological relevance. Post hoc tests showed that these differences occurred only on Sable Island Bank where both fish and benthos may have been independently responding to sediment type which was most different there (100% sand in the area of low haddock abundance vs. 22% gravel in the area of high haddock abundance). In total, 383 benthic taxa representing 13 phyla were identified. Annelida was the most specious phylum (36.29% of taxa, representing 33 families), followed by Arthropoda (with Crustaceans, mostly Amphipoda, accounting for 25.07% of the total number of taxa). The strongest pattern in the macrofauna was expressed at the largest scale, between banks, accounting for approximately 25% of the variation in the data. Emerald Bank, deeper, warmer and saltier than the Western and Sable Island Banks, had a distinctive fauna.

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<![CDATA[Harvest Pressure on Coastal Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) from Recreational Fishing Relative to Commercial Fishing Assessed from Tag-Recovery Data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9bab0ee8fa60ba3ce9

Marine recreational fishing is a popular outdoor activity. However, knowledge about the magnitude of recreational catches relative to commercial catches in coastal fisheries is generally sparse. Coastal Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) is a target species for recreational fishers in the North Atlantic. In Norway, recreational fishers are allowed to use a variety of traps and nets as well as long-line and rod and line when fishing for cod. From 2005 to 2013, 9729 cod (mean size: 40 cm, range: 15–93 cm) were tagged and released in coastal Skagerrak, southeast Norway. Both high-reward (NOK 500) and low-reward tags (NOK 50) were used in this study. Because some harvested fish (even those posting high-reward tags) may go unreported by fishers, reporting rates were estimated from mark-recovery models that incorporate detection parameters in their structure, in addition to survival and mortality estimates. During 2005 to 2013, a total of 1707 tagged cod were recovered and reported by fishers. We estimate the overall annual survival to be 33% (SE 1.5). Recreational rod and line fishing were responsible for 33.7% (SE 2.4) of total mortality, followed by commercial fisheries (15.1% SE 0.8) and recreational fixed gear (6.8% SE 0.4). Natural mortality was 44.4% (SE 2.5) of total mortality. Our findings suggest that recreational fishing—rod and line fishing in particular—is responsible for a substantial part of fishing mortality exerted on coastal cod in southern Norway.

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<![CDATA[Temporal Dynamics of Top Predators Interactions in the Barents Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da51ab0ee8fa60b8df3e

The Barents Sea system is often depicted as a simple food web in terms of number of dominant feeding links. The most conspicuous feeding link is between the Northeast Arctic cod Gadus morhua, the world's largest cod stock which is presently at a historical high level, and capelin Mallotus villosus. The system also holds diverse seabird and marine mammal communities. Previous diet studies may suggest that these top predators (cod, bird and sea mammals) compete for food particularly with respect to pelagic fish such as capelin and juvenile herring (Clupea harengus), and krill. In this paper we explored the diet of some Barents Sea top predators (cod, Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Common guillemot Uria aalge, and Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata). We developed a GAM modelling approach to analyse the temporal variation diet composition within and between predators, to explore intra- and inter-specific interactions. The GAM models demonstrated that the seabird diet is temperature dependent while the diet of Minke whale and cod is prey dependent; Minke whale and cod diets depend on the abundance of herring and capelin, respectively. There was significant diet overlap between cod and Minke whale, and between kittiwake and guillemot. In general, the diet overlap between predators increased with changes in herring and krill abundances. The diet overlap models developed in this study may help to identify inter-specific interactions and their dynamics that potentially affect the stocks targeted by fisheries.

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<![CDATA[Modeling Magnetic Fields from a DC Power Cable Buried Beneath San Francisco Bay Based on Empirical Measurements]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafeab0ee8fa60bc5857

The Trans Bay Cable (TBC) is a ±200-kilovolt (kV), 400 MW 85-km long High Voltage Direct Current (DC) buried transmission line linking Pittsburg, CA with San Francisco, CA (SF) beneath the San Francisco Estuary. The TBC runs parallel to the migratory route of various marine species, including green sturgeon, Chinook salmon, and steelhead trout. In July and August 2014, an extensive series of magnetic field measurements were taken using a pair of submerged Geometrics magnetometers towed behind a survey vessel in four locations in the San Francisco estuary along profiles that cross the cable’s path; these included the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (BB), the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (RSR), the Benicia-Martinez Bridge (Ben) and an area in San Pablo Bay (SP) in which a bridge is not present. In this paper, we apply basic formulas that ideally describe the magnetic field from a DC cable summed vectorially with the background geomagnetic field (in the absence of other sources that would perturb the ambient field) to derive characteristics of the cable that are otherwise not immediately observable. Magnetic field profiles from measurements taken along 170 survey lines were inspected visually for evidence of a distinct pattern representing the presence of the cable. Many profiles were dominated by field distortions unrelated to the cable caused by bridge structures or other submerged objects, and the cable’s contribution to the field was not detectable. BB, with 40 of the survey lines, did not yield usable data for these reasons. The unrelated anomalies could be up to 100 times greater than those from the cable. In total, discernible magnetic field profiles measured from 76 survey lines were regressed against the equations, representing eight days of measurement. The modeled field anomalies due to the cable (the difference between the maximum and minimum field along the survey line at the cable crossing) were virtually identical to the measured values. The modeling yielded a pooled cable depth below the bay floor of 2.06 m (±1.46 std dev), and estimated the angle to the horizontal of the imaginary line connecting the cross-sectional center of the cable’s two conductors (0.1143 m apart) as 178.9° ±61.9° (std dev) for Ben, 78.6°±37.0° (std dev) for RSR, and 139.9°±27.4° (std dev) for SP. The mean of the eight daily average currents derived from the regressions was 986 ±185 amperes (A) (std dev), as compared to 722 ±95 A (std dev) provided by Trans Bay Cable LLC. Overall, the regressions based on fundamental principles (Biot Savart law) and the vectorial summation of cable and geomagnetic fields provide estimates of cable characteristics consistent with plausible expectations.

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<![CDATA[High Connectivity among Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) Populations in the Western South Atlantic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f9ab0ee8fa60b71723

Population connectivity in the blue crab Callinectes sapidus was evaluated along 740 km of the Western South Atlantic coast. Blue crabs are the most exploited portunid in Brazil. Despite their economic importance, few studies report their ecology or population structure. Here we sampled four estuarine areas in southern Brazil during winter 2013 and summer 2014 in order to evaluate diversity, gene flow and structure of these populations. Nine microsatellite markers were evaluated for 213 adult crabs, with identification of seven polymorphic loci and 183 alleles. Pairwise FST values indicated low population structure ranging from -0.00023 to 0.01755. A Mantel test revealed that the geographic distance does not influence genetic (r = -0.48), and structure/migration rates confirmed this, showing that even the populations located at the opposite extremities of our covered region presented low FST and exchanged migrants. These findings show that there is a significant amount of gene flow between blue crab populations in South Brazil, likely influenced by local current dynamics that allow the transport of a high number of larvae between estuaries. Considering the elevated gene flow, the populations can be considered a single genetic stock. However, further information on population size and dynamics, as well as fishery demands and impacts at different regions, are necessary for harvest management purposes.

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