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Dispersal of an exploited demersal fish species (Argyrosomus japonicus, Sciaenidae) inferred from satellite telemetry

Barnes, Thomas C., Rogers, Paul J., Wolf, Yasmin, Madonna, Alessandro, Holman, Dirk, Ferguson, Greg J., Hutchinson, Wayne, Loisier, Aude, Sortino, Dylan, Sumner, Michael, Gillanders, Bronwyn M.
Marine biology 2019 v.166 no.10 pp. 125
Argyrosomus japonicus, autumn, demersal fish, fisheries, marine parks, marine protected areas, satellites, summer, telemetry, Australia
Mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus) are an iconic recreational, indigenous, and commercial fishery species with declining numbers across some parts of their range, with relatively little known about their movements. During the Austral summers and autumns from 2011 to 2014, we deployed 19 pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) on mature mulloway at an aggregation site within the Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP), to examine their movement patterns. Twelve tags provided data from deployments ranging from 8 to 110 days including five tags that gathered data over autumn and seven over summer. Five of the seven mulloway tagged during summer likely remained in the vicinity of the tagging location and hence within or in close proximity to marine-protected areas (MPAs) over summer; however, relatively large horizontal movements were observed over autumn for most fish, including a maximum net displacement of ~ 550 km. The median pop-up distance from deployment was 51 and 212 km for summer-and autumn-tagged fish, respectively. Depths encountered by the tagged mulloway ranged from the surface to 56.5 m deep. Our study provides new information on the dispersal of a poorly understood fish species which could aid their conservation.