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Lunar landings - relationship between lunar phase and catch rates for an Australian gamefish-tournament fishery
Lowry, M.; Williams, D.; Metti, Y. (2007). Lunar landings - relationship between lunar phase and catch rates for an Australian gamefish-tournament fishery. Fish. Res. 88(1-3): 15-23.
In: Fisheries Research. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0165-7836, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Angling; Catch per unit effort; Catch rate; Game fish; Recreational fishing; Coryphaena hippurus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Isurus oxyrinchus Rafinesque, 1810 [WoRMS]; Thunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788) [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    billfish; catch rates; gamefish; lunar phase; recreational angling

Authors  Top 
  • Lowry, M.
  • Williams, D.
  • Metti, Y.

    Catch-per-unit-of-effort (CPUE) data were collected from anglers participating in gamefish tournaments off the coast of New South Wales, Australia, over nine consecutive years (1994-2003). Mean catch rates for 381 tournament days were aggregated by "lunar phase day" in order to analyse relationships between CPUE and lunar phase for eight primary gamefish species. Circular-linear correlation analysis identified significant relationships between moon phase and CPUE for black marlin (Makaira indica), blue shark (Prionace glauca), shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), dolphin fish (Coryphaena hippurus), and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) while no significant relationship was evident for blue marlin (Makaira mazara), striped marlin (Tetrapterus audax) and tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier). Periodic regression was used to identify the nature of the relationship between lunar phases and catch rates for these species. A consistent pattern of catch rates peaking over the period from the new moon to the first quarter was observed for blue shark, mako shark, dolphin fish and yellowfin tuna. Results for black marlin differed, with catch rates increasing to a peak between the full moon and the last quarter. We suggest that the observed variability in CPUE maybe a result of the movement of prey species in association with lunar phase. Further, we hypothesise that the observed species-specific differences in CPUE of gamefish are primarily mediated by physiological adaptations and limitations, which directly affect the ability of these predators to maintain access to their prey.

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