MEPS 403:205-218 (2010)  -  doi:10.3354/meps08465

Movement patterns and home ranges of a pelagic carangid fish, Caranx crysos, around a petroleum platform complex

Harmon Brown1,5,*, Mark C. Benfield1, Sean F. Keenan2, Sean P. Powers3,4

1Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University, 2179 Energy, Coast & Environment Building, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA
2Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 100 Eighth Avenue SE, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA
3Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama, 307 University Blvd., Mobile, Alabama 36688, USA
4Dauphin Island Sea Lab, 102B Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528, USA
5Present address: Office of Coastal Management, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, 617 N. Third St./10th Floor, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802, USA

ABSTRACT: Quantification of the movements and home ranges of highly mobile marine species is a challenging prerequisite for a more complete understanding of their ecology. Caranx crysos is a pelagic carangid found in large schools over the mid-shelf of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Twenty-three C. crysos were surgically implanted with acoustic transmitters, and their positions were localized around a petroleum platform complex in the Gulf of Mexico using a hydrophone network. Fish were tracked during August 2005 for 23 d, and home ranges were calculated for individual fish over the daily, diel, and entire study period. Most fish showed a preference for a discrete area within the platform complex: 11 fish had a range centroid near one platform for at least 7 d, and 9 fish had a range centroid near one platform for at least 3 d. Only 3 fish showed no preference for a particular site within the platform complex. Mean core daily range varied from 373 to 2202 m2, while the 95% daily range was between 3082 and 14333 m2. Evidence for diel differences in habitat use was also apparent. Hydrophones detected more transmissions during the day than during the night; however, only 3 fish had significantly larger home ranges during the day than during the night. There was a significant correlation between fish length and both the size of their overall core home range and the size of the 95% daily home range. Our results suggest that this schooling pelagic species establishes a home range in the vicinity of structure.


KEY WORDS: Home range · Caranx crysos · Petroleum platforms · Gulf of Mexico · Movement · Carangidae · Acoustic telemetry


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Cite this article as: Brown H, Benfield MC, Keenan SF, Powers SP (2010) Movement patterns and home ranges of a pelagic carangid fish, Caranx crysos, around a petroleum platform complex. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 403:205-218

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