Journal Article

The behaviour of spawning herring in relation to a survey vessel

Georg Skaret, Bjørn Erik Axelsen, Leif Nøttestad, Anders Fernö and Arne Johannessen

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 62, issue 6, pages 1061-1064
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2005.05.001
The behaviour of spawning herring in relation to a survey vessel

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Vessel avoidance of spawning herring (Clupea harengus L.) was studied off the coast of southwestern Norway in April 2000. In eight repeated night-time passages a demersal layer of herring was recorded acoustically by a small stationary reference vessel (96 GRT), while a survey vessel (710 GRT) passed at short ranges (8–40 m). No avoidance attributable to the survey vessel was observed. We interpret vessel avoidance as a response to a perceived threat and herring are known to exhibit strong avoidance reactions to survey vessels during wintering and the spawning migration. At the spawning site, the high priority given to reproductive activities seems to overrule the avoidance responses to a passing survey vessel.

Keywords: vessel avoidance; herring; spawning behaviour; state-dependent trade-off

Journal Article.  2188 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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