Scientia Marina, Vol 63, No 3-4 (1999)

Ichtyofauna associated with drifting floating objects in the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean)

Francisco Riera
Estació d’Aqüicultura, Spain

Amalia Grau

Antonio M. Grau
Direcció General de Pesca i Cultius Marins, Spain

Elena Pastor
Estació d’Aqüicultura, Spain

Antoni Quetglas
Estació d’Aqüicultura, Spain

Sebastián Pou
Estació d’Aqüicultura, Spain


Species composition, size range and some behavioral notes about drifting flotsam associated fish of the Balearic Islands are presented, and more detailed observations on Seriola dumerili, Naucrates ductor, Coryphaena hippurus and Scomberesox saurus are also given. 25 fish species belonging to 18 families were identified, 12 of these species and the individuals of the family Mugilidae were recorded for the first time associated with floating objects in the western Mediterranean. Most of the specimens collected were juveniles, which suggests the importance of floating objects as a nursery, and thus in the recruitment and redistribution of fishes. Analisis of two drift floating material samples show that objects of anthropogenic origin were most abundant (83.5% and 63.5%) and suggests that at present, human refuse may have taken over the role of the floating remains of marine plants for fishes in the western Mediterranean pelagic environment.


Juvenile fish; drifting flotsam; Balearic Islands; western Mediterranean

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Copyright (c) 1999 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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