Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 109–121 | Cite as

Use of the intertidal zone by fish in Nova Scotia

  • Robert Black
  • Robert J. Miller
Full paper


In Nova Scotia the annual harvest of the intertidal seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum exceeds 20 000 tons. This study investigated the possible impact of removal of the seaweed on intertidal abundance of fishes and their gut contents. At sites near Lower Argyle, Nova Scotia, absolute abundance of fish in small areas with Ascophyllum removed and intact was determined with pop-up seines. Gut contents were investigated from fish collected with the seines and with trammel nets. Number and weight of fish were not significantly different between cleared and intact areas and averaged 4.6 individuals and 160 g per 400 m2 during June to October. Cunner and sculpins had more food in their guts when leaving than when entering the intertidal, but only cunner had more food in their stomachs when leaving intact areas than when leaving cleared areas. Most fish captured in the intertidal were small (< 15 cm) and of no commercial value, and the numbers of commercial species were too low to be of much value. Numbers of fish in the intertidal was significantly lower than in the shallow subtidal. This study provided no evidence for adverse effects of the removal of patches of Ascophyllum on fishes.

Key words

Abundance Stomach-contents Gadidae Labridae Cottidae Pleuronectidae Ascophyllum 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Black
    • 1
  • Robert J. Miller
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyThe University of Western AustraliaNedlandsAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Fisheries and OceansHalifaxCanada

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