Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 11–24

Movements of Fishes Within and Among Fringing Coral Reefs in Barbados

  • Matthew R. Chapman
  • Donald L. Kramer

DOI: 10.1023/A:1004545724503

Cite this article as:
Chapman, M.R. & Kramer, D.L. Environmental Biology of Fishes (2000) 57: 11. doi:10.1023/A:1004545724503


Movement of coral reef fishes across marine reserve boundaries subsequent to their initial settlement from the plankton will affect the ability of no-take reserves to conserve stocks and to benefit adjacent fisheries. However, the mobility of most exploited reef species is poorly known. We tagged 1443 individuals of 35 reef fish species captured in Antillean fish traps in the Barbados Marine Reserve and adjacent non-reserve over a two-month period. Trapping and visual surveys were used to monitor the movements of these fish during the trapping period and the subsequent two months. Estimates of distances moved were corrected for the spatial distribution of sampling effort and for the number of recaptures of individual fish. Recapture rates for individual species ranged from 0–100% (median=38%). Species mobility estimated by recapture and resighting were highly correlated. Most species were strongly site attached, with the majority of recaptures and resightings occurring at the site of tagging. However, only one of 59 tagged jacks (Caranx latus, C. ruber) was ever resighted, suggesting emigration from the study area. All species were occasionally recorded away from the sites where they had been tagged (20–500 m), and several species, including surgeonfish, Acanthurus bahianus, A. coeruleus, filefish, Cantherhines pullus, butterflyfish, Chaetodon striatus, angelfish Holocanthus tricolor and parrotfish, Sparisoma viride, ranged widely within reefs. In contrast, few movements were observed between reefs separated by more than 20 m of sand and rubble, and no emigration from the Reserve was recorded. Most reef fishes vulnerable to Antillean traps appear sufficiently site-attached to benefit from reserves. However, many species move over a wide enough area to take them out of small reserves on continuous reef. Use of natural home range boundaries could minimize exposure of fishes in reserves to mortality from adjacent fisheries.

spilloverreef fish mobilitytaggingmarine protected areaBarbados Marine Reserve

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew R. Chapman
    • 1
  • Donald L. Kramer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontréal, QCCanada