Movement Patterns and Site Utilization of Fishes as Determined by Acoustic Telemetry: Implications for the Design of Marine Reserves
NOAAS STELLWAGEN BANK NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY SCITUATE MA
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Marine reserves MRs, also known as no-take reserves, represent one of the primary tools for conservation and management of the marine environment currently available to managers. While the theoretical justification for MRs is extensive see National Research Council 2001, and mounting evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of MRs as a management tool Halpern, 2003, empirical data on the utility of MRs for mobile taxa such as fishes is still needed Lindholm and Auster, 2002. Information on the movement of individual fish relative to landscape features, in both tropical and temperate seas, is critical for the design of successful MRs. A number of studies have demonstrated that many fish species exhibit statistically significant but facultative associations at various life history stages with specific microtopographic structures microhabitats in low topography environments e.g., Auster et al. 2003 Auster et al. In Press. Less is known, however, about the movement patterns and site utilization of individual fish relative to these features of the landscape. Whether the goal of an MR is the protection of the diversity of fishes overall Bohnsack and Ault, 1996 Agardy, 1999 Hastings and Botsford, 2003 or the management of particular exploited fish populations Bohnsack, 1993 Dayton et al., 2000 Gell and Roberts, 2003, the siting and design of MRs will be improved by data on the movement of fishes of different species relative to landscape features and patterns. Results are presented for two on-going telemetry studies in the western North Atlantic Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary SBNMS in the Gulf of Maine and in the northern Florida Keys.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Environmental Health and Safety