oa African Zoology - A preliminary ichthyoplankton survey of the Tsitsikamma National Park

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



An ichthyoplankton survey using bongo nets was conducted within the Tsitsikamma National Park over an 18-month period between January t99t and July t992. Four sampling stations along the coast were chosen, approximately 5 km apart. At each station four samples were taken along a transect perpendicular to the coast, between 0,35 km and 3,8 km offshore. Horizontal tows were taken at three and 15 m below the surface over reef and sand substrata respectively. Larvae belonging to 24 of the 35 families and 55 of the 97 species known to occur in the area were captured. Engraulid larvae completely dominated the catches while amongst the reef-associated taxa sparids and blenniids were prominent. Seasonally occurring cold upwelling events impacted negatively on egg and larval abundance. Mean values for egg and larval abundances were 1207 and 282 per 100 m3 respectively. A relationship between larval number and plankton volume was revealed. Most larvae captured were between 2,0 and 20,3 mm (SL), and in the preflexion condition. The absence of larger size classes in samples was attributed to net avoidance.

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