oa African Zoology - Fish species composition and abundance on a subtropical, artificial reef on the east coast of South Africa

Volume 33, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The composition and abundance of fish species on a derelict rocky pier on the Durban beachfront, KwaZuluNatal, South Africa, were assessed by means of underwater visual census, using transects. A total of 74 species were recorded on the reef, with convict surgeons (Acanthurus triostegus), sash damsels (Plectroglyphidodon leucazonus), blacktail (Dipladus sargus capensis) and blennies being most abundant. Species diversity was similar in April and August, although abundances of many species were lower in the latter month. Several species were thought to be resident on the reef, and there was some evidence for seasonal recruitment in others. Like natural shallow reefs, this artificial reef is a rich source of secondary production, enabling it to support an abundant and diverse fish population.

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