Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 11–25 | Cite as

Benthic and pelagic fish biomass of the upper continental slope off eastern Tasmania

  • J. L. May
  • S. J. M. Blaber
Article

Abstract

Benthic and pelagic fishes were sampled east of Maria Island, Tasmania, at two-monthly intervals from April 1984 to June 1985, from the surface to the bottom (500 m depth), using commercial-sized trawls. Biomass was calculated by the “area swept/volume filtered” method and divided by estimated catchability coefficients so that catches from the two sampling gears could be combined. Of the 54 families caught, three (Myctophidae, Squalidae, Sternoptychidae) contributed 25% of the 115 species. Most benthic and dispersed species were caught regularly, whereas most pelagic species occurred only occasionally and in low numbers, although a core group was always present. Total fish biomass was high (range=77 to 532 g m-2; x= 390 g m-2), due almost entirely to the myctophid Lampanyctodes hectoris (over 90% of the biomass). Benthic biomass was relatively low and stable, but derived from many species. Pelagic biomass was high, fluctuated widely and was composed of a few species. Biomass was highest in summer: Maurolicus muelleri increased by a factor of 200, Diaphus danae by 50, and L. hectoris, Macruronus novaezelandiae and Lepidorhynchus denticulatus by almost 10. Peaks in biomass may correlate with the interactions of the subtropical convergence and the East Australian Current and the resultant marked seasonal cycle in water temperature, nutrients and primary productivity.

Keywords

Biomass Water Temperature Seasonal Cycle Continental Slope Core Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Ahlstrom, E. H., Moser, H. G., O'Toole, M. J. (1976). Development and distribution of larvae and early juveniles of the commercial lanternfish, Lampanyctodes hectoris (Günther), off the west coast of southern Africa with a discussion of phylogenetic relationships of the genus. Bull. Sth. Calif. Acad. Sci. 75: 138–152Google Scholar
  2. Aron, W., Collard, S. (1969). A study of the influence of net speed on catch. Limnol. Oceanogr. 14: 242–249Google Scholar
  3. Anonymous “Courageous” investigates the distribution and behaviour of lightfish. Aust. Fish. 36(7): 25–27Google Scholar
  4. Backus, R. H., Craddock, J. E., Haedrich, R. L., Shores, D. L. (1970). The distribution of mesopelagic fishes in the equatorial and Western North Atlantic Ocean. J. mar. Res. 28: 179–201Google Scholar
  5. Baird, D. (1978). Catch composition and population structure of the commerically exploited mackerel Scomber japonicus, 1954–1975. Fishery Bull. S. Afr. 10: 50–61Google Scholar
  6. Blaber, S. J. M. (1984). CSIRO's southern deepwater study begins. Aust. Fish. 43: p. 15Google Scholar
  7. Blaber, S. J. M., Bulman, C. M. (1987). Diets of fishes of the upper continental slope of eastern Tasmania: content, calorific values, dietary overlap and trophic relationships. Mar Biol. 95: 345–356Google Scholar
  8. Blaber, S. J. M., May, J. L., Young, J. W., Bulman, C. M. (1987). Population density and predators of Ophiacantha fidelis (Koehler) (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) on the continental slope of Tasmania Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 38: 243–247Google Scholar
  9. Blackburn, M. (1968). Micronekton of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean: family composition, distribution, abundance and relations to tuna. Fish. Bull. U.S. 67: 71–115Google Scholar
  10. Blackburn, M. (1977). Studies on pelagic animal biomasses. In: Anderson, N. R., Zahuranec, B. J. (eds.) Oceanic sound scattering prediction. Marine Science. Vol. 5. Plenum Press, New York, p. 283–299Google Scholar
  11. Blackburn, M., Laurs, R. M., Owen, R. W., Zeitzschel, B. (1970). Seasonal and areal changes in standing stocks of phytoplankton, zooplankton and micronekton in the eastern tropical Pacific. Mar. Biol. 7: 14–31Google Scholar
  12. Brandt, S. B. (1983). Temporal and spatial patterns of lanternfish (family Myctophidae) communities associated with a warm-core eddy. Mar. Biol. 74: 231–244Google Scholar
  13. Brooks, A. L., Brown, C. L., Scully-Power, P. H. (1974). Net filtering efficiency of a 3-meter Isaacs-Kidd midwater trawl. Fish. Bull. U.S. 72: 618–621Google Scholar
  14. Bulman, C. M., Blaber, S. J. M. (1986). The feeding ecology of Macruronus novaezelandiae (Hector) (Teleostei: Merlucciidiae) in south-east Australia. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 37: 621–639Google Scholar
  15. Clarke, T. A. (1973). Some aspects of the ecology of lanternfishes (Myctophidae) in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. Fish. Bull. U.S. 71: 401–434Google Scholar
  16. Clarke, T. A. (1983). Comparison of abundance estimates of small fishes by three towed nets and preliminary results of the use of small purse seines as sampling devices. Biol. Oceanogr. 2: 311–340Google Scholar
  17. Collins, S. P., Baron, M. P. (1981). Demersal and pelagic trawling survey of the M. T. Denebola in southern Australian waters, 1979–1980 summer. Tasm. Fish. Res. 24: 2–48Google Scholar
  18. Cowper, T. R., Downie, R. J. (1957). A line-fishing survey of the fishes of the south-eastern Australian continental slope. Rep. Div. Fish. Oceanogr. C.S.I.R.O. Aust. 6: 1–37Google Scholar
  19. Crawford, R. J. M. (1980). Occurrence and distribution of lanternfish Lampanyctodes hectoris catches in the South African purseseine fishery, 1968–1976. Fishery Bull. S. Afr. 13: 111–136Google Scholar
  20. Edwards, R. L. (1968). Fishery resources of the North Atlantic area. Univ. Wash. Publs Fish. 4: 52–60Google Scholar
  21. Ehrich, S. (1983). On the occurrence of some fish species at the slopes of the Rockall Trough. Arch. Fisch Wiss. 33: 105–150Google Scholar
  22. Gjøsaeter, J. (1981). Abundance and production of lanternfish (Myctophidae) in the Western and Northern Arabian Sea. Fisk-Dir. Skr. (Ser. Havunders.) 17: 215–251Google Scholar
  23. Gjøsaeter, J. (1984). Mesopelagic fish, a large potential resource in the Arabian Sea. Deep-Sea Res. (Part A Oceanogr. Res.) 31 (6-8A): 1019–1035Google Scholar
  24. Gjøsaeter, J., Beck, I.-M. (1981). Mesopelagic fish off Mozambique. FiskDir. Skr. Ser. Havunders 17: 253–265Google Scholar
  25. Gjøsaeter, J., Blindheim, J. (1982). Observation on mesopelagic fish off northwest Africa between 16° and 27°N. Rapp. P.-v. Réun. Cons. perm. int. Explor. Mer 180: 391–398Google Scholar
  26. Gjøsaeter, J., Kawaguchi, K. (1980). A review of the world resources of mesopelagic fish. F.A.O. Fish. tech. Pap. 193: 1–151Google Scholar
  27. Gordon, J. D. M., Duncan, J. A. R. (1985). The ecology of the deep-sea benthic and benthopelagic fish on the slopes of the Rockall Trough, Northeastern Atlantic. Prog. Oceanogr. 15: 37–69Google Scholar
  28. Gunn, J. S., Bruce, B. D., Furlani, D. M., Thresher, R. E., Blaber, S. J. M. (In press). Timing and location of spawning of blue grenadier, Macruronus novaezelandiae (Teleostei: Merlucciidae), in Australian coastal waters. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res.Google Scholar
  29. Haedrich, R. L., Rowe, G. T. (1977). Megafaunal biomass in the deep sea. Nature, Lond. 269: 141–142Google Scholar
  30. Haedrich, R. L., Rowe, G. T., Polloni, P. T. (1975). Zonation and faunal composition of epibenthic populations of the continental slope south of New England. J. mar. Res. 33 (1–3 and Suppl.): 191–212Google Scholar
  31. Harris, G., Nilsson, C., Clementson, L., Thomas, D. (1987). The water masses of the east coast of Tasmania: seasonal and interannual variability and the influence on phytoplankton biomass and productivity. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 38: 569–590Google Scholar
  32. Harrison, C. M. H. (1967). On methods for sampling mesopelagic fishes. In: Marshall, N. B. (ed.) Aspects of marine zoology. Academic Press, London, p. 71–119Google Scholar
  33. Kerstan, M., Sahrhage, D. (1980). Biological investigations on fish stocks in the waters off New Zealand. Mitt. Inst. Seefisch. 29: 1–168Google Scholar
  34. Last, P. R., Harris, J. G. K. (1981). New locality records and preliminary information on demersal fish faunal assemblages in Tasmanian waters. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 115: 189–209Google Scholar
  35. Last, P. R., Scott, E. O. G., Talbot, F. H. (1983). Fishes of Tasmania. Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority, HobartGoogle Scholar
  36. Legand, M. (1969). Seasonal variations in the Indian Ocean along 110°E. VI. Macroplankton and micronekton biomass. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 20: 85–103Google Scholar
  37. Maynard, S. D., Riggs, F. V., Walters, J. F. (1975). mesopelagic micronekton in Hawaiian waters: faunal composition, standing stock, and diel vertical migration. Fish. Bull. U.S. 73: 726–736Google Scholar
  38. Merrett, N. R., Marshall, N. B. (1980). Observations on the ecology of deep-sea bottom-living fishes collected off northwest Africa (08°–27°N). Prog. Oceanogr. 9: 185–244Google Scholar
  39. Nafpaktitus, B. G., Backus, R. H., Craddock, J. E., Haedrich, R. L., Robison, B. H., Karnella, C. (1977). Fishes of the Western North Atlantic Family Myctophidae. Mem. Sears Fdn mar. Res. 1(7): 13–299Google Scholar
  40. Ohta, S. (1983). Photographic census of large-sized benthic organisms in the bathyal zone of Suruga Bay, Central Japan. Bull. Ocean Res. Inst. Univ. Tokyo 15: 1–344Google Scholar
  41. Parin, N. V., Becker,V. E., Borodulina, O. D., Karmovskaya, E. S., Fedoryako, B. I., Shcherbachev, J. N., Pokhilskaya, G. N., Tchuvasov, V. M. (1977). Midwater fishes in the western tropical Pacific Ocean and the seas of the Indo-Australian archipelago. [In Russ.] Trudy Inst. Okeanol 107: 68–188Google Scholar
  42. Pearcy, W. G., Laurs, R. M. (1966). Vertical migration and distribution of mesopelagic fishes off Oregon. Deep-Sea Res. 13: 153–165Google Scholar
  43. Pearcy, W. G., Stein, D. L., Carney, R. S. (1982). The deep-sea benthic fish fauna of the Northeastern Pacific Ocean on Cascadia and Tufts abyssal plains and adjoining continental slopes. Biol. Oceanogr. 1: 375–428Google Scholar
  44. Robertson, D. A. (1978). Blue mackerel, pilchard, anchovy, sprat, saury, and lanternfish. Occ. Publs Fish. Res. Div. N.Z. Minist. Agric. Fish. 15: 85–89Google Scholar
  45. Robertson, D. A., Roberts, P. E., Wilson, J. B. (1978). Mesopelagic faunal transition across the Subtropical Convergence east of New Zealand. N.Z. Jl mar. Freshwat. Res. 12: 295–312Google Scholar
  46. Roe, H. S. J., Badcock, J. (1984). The diel migrations and distributions within a mesopelagic community in the North East Atlantic. 5. Vertical migrations and feeding of fish. Prog. Oceanogr. 13: 389–424Google Scholar
  47. Schroeder, W. C. (1955). Report on the results of exploratory ottertrawling along the continental shelf and slope between Nova Scotia and Virginia during the summers of 1952 and 1953. Deep-Sea Res. (Suppl.) 3: 358–372Google Scholar
  48. Scott, J. S. (1971). Abundance of groundfishes on the Scotian Shelf. Tech. Rep. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 260: 1–20Google Scholar
  49. Shuntov, V. P. (1971). Fishes of the upper bathyal zone of the New Zealand Plateau. J. Ichthyol. 3: 336–345Google Scholar
  50. Smith, S. J. (1981). A comparison of estimators of location for skewed populations, with applications to groundfish trawl surveys. Spec. Publs Can. Fish. aquat. Sciences 58: 154–163Google Scholar
  51. Sokal, R. R., Rohlf, F. J. (1981). Biometry. The principles and practice of statistics in biological research. W. H. Freeman & Co., San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  52. Thorne, R. E., Mathisen, O. A., Trumble, R. J., Blackburn, M. (1977). Distribution and abundance of pelagic fish off Spanish Sahara during CUEA expedition JOINT-1. Deep-Sea Res. 24: 75–82Google Scholar
  53. Wankowski, J. W. J., Moulton, P. L. (1986). Distribution, abundance and biomass estimates of commercially important demersal fish species in eastern Bass Strait, Australia. Tech. Rep. mar. Sci. Lab. Minist. Conserv. Aust., Fish. Wildl. Serv. 62: 1–57Google Scholar
  54. Wilson, M. (A.) (1981). Blue grenadier spawning grounds. FINTAS (Fishg Ind. News, Tasm.), Hobart 4: 9–10Google Scholar
  55. Wilson, M. A., Evans, K. R., Cameron, M. R. (1984). A ground survey of the upper and mid continental slope of southern Australia. Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority, HobartGoogle Scholar
  56. Young, J. W., Blaber, S. J. M. (1986). Feeding ecology of three species of midwater fishes associated with the continental slope of eastern Tasmania, Australia. Mar. Biol. 93: 147–156Google Scholar
  57. Young, J. W., Blaber, S. J. M., Rose, R. (1987). Reproductive biology of three species of midwater fishes associated with the continental slope of eastern Tasmania, Australia. Mar. Biol. 95: 323–332Google Scholar

Literature cited

  1. Aronov, M. B., Vyskrebentzer, B. V. (1967). Underwater observations on the behaviour of fishes in the zone of trawling. F.A.O. Fish. Rep. 62: 843–848Google Scholar
  2. Bagenal, T. B. (1958). An analysis of the variability associated with the Vigneron-Dahl modification of the otter trawl by day and night and a discussion of its action. J. Cons. perm. int. Explor. Mer 24: 62–79Google Scholar
  3. Beamish, F. W. H. (1966). Vertical migrations by demersal fish in the northwest Atlantic. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 23: 109–139Google Scholar
  4. Blaxter, J. H. S., Parrish, B. B. (1966). The reaction of marine fish to moving netting and other devices in tanks. Mar. Res. 1: 1–15Google Scholar
  5. Bowman, R. E., Bowman, E. W. (1980). Diurnal variation in the feeding intensity and catchability of silver hake (Merlucius bilinearis). Can. J. Fish. aquat. Sciences 37: 1565–1572Google Scholar
  6. Carrothers, P. J. G. (1980). Estimation of trawl door spread from wing spread. J. NW. Atlant. Fishery Sci. 1: 81–89Google Scholar
  7. Edwards, R. L. (1968). Fishery resources of the North Atlantic area. Univ. Wash. Publs Fish. 4: 52–60Google Scholar
  8. Forster, J. J., Campbell, C. M., Sabin, G. C. W. (1981). The fish catching process relevant to trawls. Spec. Publs Can. Fish. aquat. Sciences 58: 229–246Google Scholar
  9. Harden Jones, F. R., Arnold, G. P. (1982). Acoustic telemetry and the marine fisheries. Symp. zool. Soc. Lond. 49: 75–93Google Scholar
  10. Harden Jones, F. R., Margetts, A. R., Greer Walker, M., Arnold, G. P. (1977). The efficiency of the Granton otter trawl determined by sector-scanning sonar and acoustic transponding tags. Rapp. P-v. Réun. Cons. perm. int. Explor. Mer 170: 45–51Google Scholar
  11. High, W. L. (1967). Scuba diving, a valuable tool for investigating the behaviour of fish within the influence of fishing gear. F.A.O. Fish. Rep. 62: 253–268Google Scholar
  12. High, W. L., Lusz, L. P. (1966). Underwater observations on fish in an off-bottom trawl. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 23: 153–154Google Scholar
  13. Main, J., Sangster, G. I. (1981a). A study of the fish capture process in a bottom trawl by direct observations from a towed underwater vehicle. Scott. Fish. Res. Rep. 23: 1–23Google Scholar
  14. Main, J., Sangster, G. I. (1981b). A study of the sand clouds produced by trawl boards and their possible effect on fish capture. Scott. Fish. Res. Rep. 20: 1–20Google Scholar
  15. McGlade, J., Zwanenburg, K., Maguire, J. J. (1981). Assessment of the Division 4VWX and subarea 5 pollock complex. CAFSAC (Can. Atlant. Fish. Scient. Advis. Comm.) Res. Docum. 81 (31): 1–10Google Scholar
  16. Mohr, von H. (1969). Echolotbeobachtungen über den Einfluß einiger Verhaltensweisen der Fische auf den Fang mit pelagischen Schleppnetzen. Ber. dt. wiss. Kommn Meeresforsch. 20: 256–277Google Scholar
  17. Wardle, C. S. (1983). Fish reactions to towed fishing gears. In: Macdonald, A. G., Priede, I. G. (eds.) Experimental biology at sea. Academic Press, London, p. 167–195Google Scholar
  18. White, G., Waldron, D. E., O'Boyle, R. N. (1981). Assessment of the eastern Scotian Shelf (4VW) haddock stock with projections to 1982. CAFSAC (Can. Atlant. Fish. Scient. Advis. Comm.) Res. Docum. 81 (25): 1–12Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. May
    • 1
  • S. J. M. Blaber
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Division of FisheriesClevelandAustralia

Personalised recommendations