Stage-dependent vertical distribution of pelagic fish eggs on the western Agulhas Bank, South Africa

  • M T Dopolo Formerly Marine & Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa; now Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Directorate: Functional Support, Private Bag X9086, Cape
  • C D van der Lingen Formerly Marine & Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa; now Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Directorate: Functional Support, Private Bag X9086, Cape
  • C L Moloney Marine Biology Research Institute, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
Keywords: anchovy, round herring, sardine, spawning depth, vertical egg distribution

Abstract

The vertical distributions of eggs of anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus, sardine Sardinops sagax and round herring Etrumeus whiteheadi over the western Agulhas Bank, South Africa, were sampled between 0m and 100m, using an opening-closing WP-2 net, to investigate differences in developmental stages of the eggs. Distributions varied ontogenetically, and vertical dispersion indices showed that early-stage eggs of all species were less aggregated than middle- and latestages. Most of early-stage anchovy eggs were distributed in the upper 40m, whereas those of sardine and round herring were more widely distributed down to 60m and 80m respectively. Results suggest that anchovy spawn nearer to the surface than do sardine and round herring.

African Journal of Marine Science 2005, 27(1): 249–256
Published
2005-06-30
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1814-2338
print ISSN: 1814-232X