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AB 30:33-46 (2021)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00739

Challenge of monitoring cohesive movement in homing fish using fine-scale 3D positioning

Junichi Takagi1,5,*, Kotaro Ichikawa2,3, Nobuaki Arai2,3,6, Jun Shoji4, Hiromichi Mitamura1,7,8

1Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University, Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
2Field Science Education and Research Center, Kyoto University, Oiwake-cho, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
3Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Oiwake-cho, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
4Marine Biological Research Institute of Japan, Yutaka, Shinagawa, Tokyo 142-0042, Japan
5Present address: National Institute of Polar Research, Midori-cho, Tachikawa-shi, Tokyo, 190-8518, Japan
6Present address: National Fisheries University, Nagata-Honmachi, Shimonoseki 759-6595, Japan
7Present address: Field Science Education and Research Center, Kyoto University, Oiwake-cho, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
8Present address: Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Oiwake-cho, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Rockfish, which are well known for their site fidelity and homing ability, live sympatrically with many conspecifics. Conspecifics may be external drivers influencing rockfish movement, and rockfish may move cohesively while travelling. We tested whether rockfish formed a group when returning to their original habitat after artificial displacement and examined the routes they travelled to return home. A fine-scale multi-individual simultaneous positioning method was used to observe the movement trajectories of tagged fish. Our results showed that tagged fish, released in groups, returned to their original habitat (5 of 8 fish) but generally did not travel with other individuals. There was one exception in which 2 individuals moved together for ~100 s immediately after release. These 2 fish had no designated leader, alternating as leader and follower. Our hypothesis was partially corroborated by these rockfish possibly travelling cohesively. The returning fish tended to travel along the sea bottom and the coastline, independent of current; thus, they likely used visual cues, rather than olfactory or social cues, to return home.


KEY WORDS: Biotelemetry · Homing behaviour · Black rockfish · Sebastes · Schooling behaviour


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Cite this article as: Takagi J, Ichikawa K, Arai N, Shoji J, Mitamura H (2021) Challenge of monitoring cohesive movement in homing fish using fine-scale 3D positioning. Aquat Biol 30:33-46. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00739

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