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African Zoology

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Seasonal abundance, distribution and catch per unit effort of fishes in the Swartkops estuary

J.F.K. Maraisand, D Baird

Abstract


Catch per unit effort was obtained for the nekton of the Swartkops estuary near Port Elizabeth by means of gill netting. Fifty gill net catches were made in which 1 269 fish were caught in areas representative of the mouth, middle and upper reaches of the estuary. Pomadasys commersonni, already shown to be the most abundant angling species in the estuary, dominated gill net catches both in terms of mass (29%) and numbers (17%). The family Mugilidae (five species) comprised 25% of the mass and 42% of the numbers caught. Environmental factors and availability of food that might determine distribution offish in the estuary are discussed. The largest mean mass per individual was found in Chanos chanos (4 473 g), Elops machnata (1 656 g) and Valamugil buchanani (1 580 g). Lowest mean masses were recorded for Monodactylus falciformis (63 g), Rhabdosargus holubi(88 g) and Liza dumerili (94 g).



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