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Movement behaviour of catface rockcod <i>Mycteroperca (Epinephelus) andersoni</i> (Epinephelidae) off the eastern seaboard of southern Africa

B.Q. Mann
R. Daly
G.L. Jordaan
W.N. Dalton
S.T. Fennessy


Movement behaviour of the endemic epinephelid Mycteroperca andersoni (formerly allocated to genus Epinephelus) along the east coast of  southern Africa was investigated using both conventional dart tagging and passive acoustic telemetry. Results from both methods showed that this  species is likely to be a temporary resident on shallow inshore reefs; fish showed high site fidelity and occupied relatively small home ranges for  periods seldom exceeding 12 months, whereafter they appeared to undertake ranging-type movements. Adults >400 mm total length were more  mobile than juveniles, and the distance moved increased with both fish size and time at liberty. Adults south of Durban, South Africa, moved farther  in a northerly direction than those north of Durban, confirming that spawning likely takes place north of Durban. No direct evidence of a spawning  migration was found, but anecdotal reports that they form spawning aggregations suggests that migrations for this purpose are likely to occur. The  current species-specific linefish regulations and the recently expanded marine protected area network along the east coast of South Africa are  believed to be adequate to ensure the future sustainable use of this species. However, improved enforcement of regulations is required, and  identification of spawning aggregation sites should be a research priority.