, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 345-355
Date: 10 Apr 2011

Effect of shelter acclimation on the post-release movement and putative predation mortality of hatchery-reared black-spot tuskfish Choerodon schoenleinii, determined by acoustic telemetry

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Abstract

In this study, the effect of shelter acclimation on the post-release movement and putative predation mortality of hatchery-reared black-spot tuskfish Choerodon schoenleinii was examined using acoustic telemetry. We acclimated four 1-year-old fish to shelters in cages before release and compared their movements with six nonacclimated fish. Since it was not possible to compare the behavioral pattern between the former and the latter fish due to the short periods the latter fish were available to be monitored, we also compared their movements with those of large nonacclimated fish that were less likely to be preyed upon. Sixty-seven percent of the nonacclimated fish showed atypical movements before the signals ceased to be detected, a pattern that suggested a predation event had occurred, whereas none of the acclimated and large nonacclimated fish showed the atypical movements. In addition, the probability of detection cessation was about 13 times lower in the acclimated than nonacclimated fish. The signal detection patterns suggest that the acclimated fish utilized night-time shelters from the first night after release, while the large nonacclimated fish started to utilize shelters several days after release. Therefore, it is likely that the shelter acclimation enhanced the shelter utilization by tuskfish, possibly decreasing post-release predation mortality.