Movement patterns and growth rate of cavebass Dinoperca petersi (Pisces: Dinopercidae) in the iSimangaliso Marine Protected Area, South Africa
Dinoperca petersi is a relatively common fish species caught in the line-fishery in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa. Yet, little is known about the biology and ecology of this species. Movement patterns and growth rate of this species were studied based on data obtained from a long-term tag-recapture study conducted in the iSimangaliso Marine Protected Area in northern KZN between 2001-2019. Results showed that D. petersi is a highly resident species with a linear home-range size of 290-405 m. While most fish showed high site fidelity, 8.8 % of the tagged fish showed wider ranging movements of 2.4-90 km. However, only 5 fish showed movements out of no-take zones into adjacent exploited areas, suggesting limited adult spillover. Growth rate of tagged fish was found to be reasonably slow compared to other sympatric predatory reef fish with an average growth rate of 61.76 mm y–1 for smaller fish (gα = 300) and 9.58 mm y–1 for larger fish (gβ = 550). Based on these life history characteristics, options for the future conservation and management of this species are discussed.
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