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Relationship between swordfish swimming behaviour and sea surface temperature in the central Mediterranean Sea during the reproductive period
Romeo, T.; Perzia, P.; Esposito, V.; Malara, D.; Battaglia, P.; Consoli, P.; Canese, S.; Andaloro, F. (2011). Relationship between swordfish swimming behaviour and sea surface temperature in the central Mediterranean Sea during the reproductive period. Mar. Biol. Res. 7(2): 186-194. dx.doi.org/10.1080/17451000.2010.489615
In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo. ISSN 1745-1000, more
Peer reviewed article

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Keywords
    Harpoons; Sea surface temperature; Spawning; Swordfish fisheries; MED, Central Mediterranean [gazetteer]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Romeo, T.
  • Perzia, P.
  • Esposito, V.
  • Malara, D.
  • Battaglia, P.
  • Consoli, P.
  • Canese, S.
  • Andaloro, F., more

Abstract
    Swordfish is the target species for harpoon fishery in the Central Mediterranean Sea (southern Tyrrhenian Sea and Strait of Messina). This is a seasonal fishing activity, carried out in daylight during the swordfish's reproductive period. The relationship between sea surface temperature (SST), catches, Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) and fish swimming behaviour, recorded by direct observation, was investigated between 1999 and 2008. Data from AVHRR-SST (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer-Sea Surface Temperature), the meteorological station and the swordfish daily catch were recorded. A low presence of pairs was observed in the 2003 summer season, corresponding to an anomalous sea surface temperature recorded in the study area. After 2003, an early presence of pairs (in May rather than in June) was recorded. ANOVA and Bonferroni correction showed significant differences of CPUE of pairs between May and June, and June and August (F3=8.07, P<0.0001). The relationship between immature and mature adult specimens, single and in pairs, four ranges of SST, seven swimming behaviours and five maturity stages was analysed by the multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). Fish in pairs were mainly observed at temperatures over 24°C, showing a well-defined courtship behaviour, i.e. a female route. At lower temperatures, the dominant behaviour was basking in immature fish and breaching in mature fish. A significant relationship between SST and fish behaviour was detected in both immature and mature adult specimens.

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