Scientia Marina, Vol 75, No 4 (2011)

Movements of three large coastal predatory fishes in the northeast Atlantic: a preliminary telemetry study

Pablo Pita
Grupo de Recursos Marinos y Pesquerías. Universidad de A Coruña , Spain

Juan Freire
Grupo de Recursos Marinos y Pesquerías. Universidad de A Coruña , Spain


Labrus bergylta, Dicentrarchus labrax and Conger conger are common predators of northeast Atlantic coastal ecosystems and are studied here for the first time with ultrasonic telemetry in their natural environment. We demonstrate the viability of using this technology with these species and used movement information to obtain preliminary short-term results on site fidelity, diel activity patterns and home range sizes. Two complementary telemetry methods were used: manual and automatic tracking along a stretch of coast characterized by its high wave exposure (A Coruña, NW Spain). C. conger stayed in the area for the longest periods of time (17 days), occasionally leaving their refuges at dusk or during the night to search for food. Their home range was very small (604 m2). L. bergylta were not detected by the automatic receivers but the size of their home range (between 2874 and 5184 m2), shows that they are highly sedentary with very limited movements. D. labrax left the area for the longest periods (9 days) and were detected during both night and day. Their home range was the largest (up to 26396 m2), evidencing complex spatial behaviour on a large scale.


coastal predatory fish; habitat use; site fidelity; home range; diel activity; tagging; telemetry; VR2; VR100

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