n African Zoology - Exploratory trials with light-traps to investigate settlement stage fishes in subtropical, coastal waters off South Africa

Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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A robust, perspex light-trap designed for capture of settlement stage coastal fishes is described. Trials with this light-trap were conducted in the entrance channel to Durban harbour over four nights, each a week apart during September and October 1996. Larvae and settlement stage fishes of 22 teleost families representative of the ichthyofauna of the study area were captured. Clupeidae (72.3%), Tripterygiidae (7.9%), Gobiidae (7.7%), Blenniidae (5.0%) and Sparidae (3.9%) contributed most of the catch. Although variable, in comparison to other international studies, mean catch rate was high at 241 fish per hour. Excluding clupeoids, mean catch rate was 67 fish per hour with Sparidae, a target group for future recruitment studies, contributing a mean catch rate of 14 fish per hour. Construction of the trap was cost-effective and it proved to be robust and reliable over the trial period.

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