Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 44 Issue 1&2

Spatial distribution pattern and biology of tuna live-bait fishes in Lakshadweep

P. P. Pillai, G. Gopakumar and K. P. Said Koya

This paper embodies the results of the aimed exploratory baitfish survey conducted in all the lagoons, reefs and par areas in Lakshadweep, utilizing the vessel facility of FORV Sagar Sampada during the pre-monsoon season of 1988. Potentially rich baitfish grounds were located around Cheriyapaniyam and Baliyapaniyam reef areas, which are hitherto unexplored and unexploited realms. Species diversity indices were high at Minicoy, Kavaratti, Suheli Par, Kadamat Cheriyapaniyam and Baliyapaniyam reef areas. Caesionids constituted the dominant group (40%) followed by apogonids (18%), pomacentrids (17%), dussumierids (sprats) (17%), emmelichthyds (1%) and others (7%). Catch rate (catch per haul) of baitfishes was maximum at Kavaratti (1164g) and it ranged between 850-950g at Suheli Par, Minicoy, Chetlat, Kadamat and Baliyapaniyam Reef; 500-750g at Perumul Par, Bangaram-Tinnakara-Parali group, Kalpeni, Agatti and Cheriyapaniyam Reef, and 100-310g at Bitra and Kiltan islands. Biological characteristics such as size distribution, fecundity-length relationship and food and feeding habit are presented. The results obtained were compared with those documented based on the survey conducted during the post-monsoon period of 1987, and the recurring fluctuation in their availability and abundance discussed from an ecological point of view.

Date : 30-12-2002