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Feeding activity strongly affects the variability of wild fish aggregations within fish farms: a sea bream farm as a case study

AutorBacher, K. ; Gordoa, Ana ; Sagué, O.
Palabras claveSubstrate type
Mediterranean Sea
Fish farm
Within-farm variability
Feeding effect
Fecha de publicación2013
CitaciónAquaculture Research : 1-13 (2013) doi:10.1111/are.12199
ResumenFactors influencing within-farm variability of wild fish aggregations have not been systematically studied. We tested the hypothesis that fish abundance and species composition vary between feeding and non-feeding periods and different bottom substrates within a Sparus aurata (L.) farm. Sampling took place during feeding and non-feeding periods on six consecutive days in July 2011. Visual censuses were carried out at three different depths and at three sampling stations over rocky– sandy and sandy substrates respectively. In all, 33 species belonging to 17 families were observed. Total fish abundance, biomass and species community significantly differed between feeding and non-feeding periods. Each depth was represented by a distinct species community and was therefore affected differently by the feeding activity. At the surface, fish abundance was significantly higher during feeding compared with non-feeding periods. The distance from the feeding vessel significantly influenced fish aggregations in the water column, indicating that planktivorous species learnt to associate the boat noise with food availability through classic conditioning. At the bottom, substrate type was the dominant factor explaining aggregation variability. This study provides new information about the dynamics of fish aggregations within farms, emphasizing the importance of considering the different sources of variability in future study designs.
Descripción13 páginas, 5 tablas, 5 figuras, 1 apéndice.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1111/are.12199
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