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Horizontal movement of ocean sunfish, Mola mola, in the northwest Atlantic
Potter, I.F.; Howell, W.H. (2011). Horizontal movement of ocean sunfish, Mola mola, in the northwest Atlantic. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(3): 531-540.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Potter, I.F.
  • Howell, W.H.

    Data were retrieved from 25 ocean sunfish (Mola mola) that were tagged with pop-up satellite archival tags in the southern Gulf of Maine (n = 6), off Nantucket Island (n = 17), and off the coast of Georgia (n = 2) between September 2005 and March 2008. Tags remained attached from 7 to 242 days, with a mean attachment period of (X ± SD) 107.2 ± 80.6 days. Ocean sunfish tagged in the Gulf of Maine and southern New England left those areas in the late summer and early autumn and moved south along the continental shelf break. Fish traveled as far south as the Bahamas and the Gulf of Mexico. By moving south, sunfish experienced similar mean sea surface temperatures throughout the tagging period. The maximum straight-line distance traveled by a tagged Mola mola was 2,520 km in 130 days. Two tagged ocean sunfish entered the Gulf of Mexico, one in the December and one in July. Movements were associated with frontal features created by the Gulf Stream and fish moved farther offshore in 2007 when the Gulf Stream was deflected from the shelf break.

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