Visual censuses around drifting fish aggregating devices (FADs): a new approach for assessing the diversity of fish in open-ocean waters

Type Article
Date 2008-08
Language English
Author(s) Gaertner J1, Taquet Marc2, Dagorn L3, Merigot B1, Aumeeruddy R4, Sancho G5, Itano D6
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Aix Marseille 2, Ctr Oceanol Marseille, CNRS, LMGEM,UMR 6117, F-13007 Marseille, France.
2 : CRH, Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, F-34203 Sete, France.
3 : CRH, Inst Rech Dev, F-34203 Sete, France.
4 : Seychelles Fishing Author, Fishing Port, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles.
5 : Coll Charleston, Grice Marine Lab, Charleston, SC 29412 USA.
6 : Univ Hawaii, Pelag Fisheries Res Program, Honolulu, HI 96822 USA.
Source Marine Ecology Progress Series (0171-8630) (Inter-Research), 2008-08 , Vol. 366 , P. 175-186
DOI 10.3354/meps07554
WOS© Times Cited 14
Keyword(s) Indian Ocean, Drifting FADs, Diversity, Pelagic fishes
Abstract This study provides a baseline measure of pelagic fish species diversity around fish aggregating devices (FADs) in the Western Indian Ocean. Using data from visual censuses made by SCUBA divers around drifting FADs we (1) analysed 11 diversity indices describing 4 main components of pelagic diversity: number of species, evenness, taxonomic diversity and rarity and (2) discussed the viability of using visual censuses around FADs to monitor temporal and spatial changes in diversity patterns of pelagic fishes in the future. Our results not only show that a single index, such as species richness or the Shannon-Wiener index, cannot provide a complete description of pelagic fish diversity around FADs, but also that some components of diversity appear to be multifaceted themselves and require the simultaneous use of several complementary indices in order to be accurately described and monitored. Despite a limited sampling effort, our results suggest that using visual censuses around FADs could provide reproducible 'relative' indices of diversity for a well-delimited assemblage of species (intra- and extranatant species in the epipelagic domain). In this context, we propose a preliminary 'short list' of diversity indices based firstly on their complementarity and secondly on their simplicity. While visual censuses of pelagic fishes at FADs (like any other sampling method) cannot give an exhaustive picture of diversity, they are a fishery-independent survey method that can complement other sampling techniques and provide reproducible information to monitor the diversity of these very difficult-to-access pelagic fish communities.
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Gaertner J, Taquet Marc, Dagorn L, Merigot B, Aumeeruddy R, Sancho G, Itano D (2008). Visual censuses around drifting fish aggregating devices (FADs): a new approach for assessing the diversity of fish in open-ocean waters. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 366, 175-186. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :