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Fish Aggregation Devices: FADs

This page contains a few sample underwater photographs of fishes associated with fish aggregation devices (FADs). They were taken by Mel Bell and Steve Murphey during my MS Thesis research on FADs.

I was testing the hypothesis that fish abundance associated with FADs are not influenced by structure size or complexity (Rountree 1989).  I tested this by comparing recruitment to three sizes of mid-water FADs.  FAD size was controlled by linearly increasing the number of subunits suspended beneath the float (1,2 or 4 units). I also examined the community ecology of pelagic and benthic fishes attracted to the structure (Rountree 1990).

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Photograph of yellow jack, Caranx bartholomaei, and banded rudderfish, Seriola zonata,associated with FAD size 1 after 17 days.

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 Photograph of yellow jack, Caranx bartholomaei, and banded rudderfish, Seriola zonata,associated with FAD size 2 after 17 days.

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 Photograph of round scad, Decapterus punctatus, associated with FAD size 4 after 17 days.

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 Close up of yellow jack, Caranx bartholomaei, and banded rudderfish, Seriola zonata,associated with FAD float 17 days after deployment.

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 Close ups of concrete block used to anchor FADs: with round scad, Decapterus punctatus and bank sea bass, Centropristis ocyurus (on block near cross-piece).

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 Close up of a large black sea bass, Centropristis striata , living in a FAD anchor.

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Close up of adult stone crab, Menippe mercenaria,  living within a FAD anchor.  The arrow points to a moon snail, Polinices sp., which the stone crab is storing for food.  A juvenile sand perch, Diplectrum formosum can also be seen just above the crab.

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 Close up of juvenile bank sea bass (about 2 inches long), Centropristis ocyurus, associated with a FAD anchor.

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  Close up of a scrawled filefish, Aluterus scriptus,  closely associated with a FAD.

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School of round scad, Decapterus punctatus, associate up current of a FAD.  The school is already beginning to react to the divers and will ball-up around the FAD, but the basic shape of the undisturbed school can still be seen. It was observations like these that led George Sedberry and I to develop our Visual Field Overlap model of schooling behavior (Rountree and Sedberry 1997, in review).

 

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This page was last modified on July 20, 2001

Copyright © 1999 by Rodney Rountree. All rights reserved

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