Investigations into some important fish larvae in the south east Atlantic in relation to the hydrological environment

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The following objectives are covered in the study: (i) the description of the seasonal hydrological changes in the survey area and a comparison between years. (ii) an examination of the seasonal distribution and abundance of the larval stages in relation to hydrological conditions. (iii) the determination of the preferential temperature and salinity ranges for the larvae. (iv) an examination of seasonal shift in location and intensity of spawning from the geographic distribution, abundance and size composition of the larvae. (v) the establishment of dispersal trends of developing larvae from the spawning grounds. (vi) the provision of information on the identity and development of important fish eggs and larvae. (vii) the determination of diurnal changes in abundance and size composition of various larval species. The results reported are regarded as scientifically significant in view of the paucity of basic information on the early life history of any fish species off South West Africa. Many aspects such as identity, development, distribution, abundance, hydrological affinities, diurnal variation and dispersal are given for the first time. The findings make a positive contribution not only to knowledge of the early stages and biology of the species but also provide an insight into the general ecology of fish larvae in what is probably the most productive and lucrative fishing grounds in the South East Atlantic.

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