Insights into movement behaviour of snapper (Chrysophrys auratus, Sparidae) from a large acoustic array

Anthony Fowler, Charles Huveneers, Matthew Lloyd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Snapper is a significant fishery species in Australasia whose movement behaviour remains poorly understood. This was addressed in the present study at the within-region scale using acoustic telemetry in the Gulf St Vincent, South Australia. Over 3 years from May 2011, 54 snapper were monitored throughout ∼160km2 using 41 acoustic receivers. The dispersion of >500000 detections varied in space and time, reflecting three types of space use, dependent on different types of movement behaviour. One station, near a large shipwreck, accounted for 67.8% of all detections, particularly during winter, when fish were sedentary and site attached. In spring, the fish dispersed throughout the study area to different habitats and, through summer, occupied different larger restricted areas than used in winter. Snapper were highly mobile and demonstrated systematic behaviour at several temporal scales. They moved linear distances of up to ∼100km and could achieve tens of kilometres in a day in episodic movements. Through the year, their activity was distributed across areas of hundreds of square kilometres. The regional spatial management regimen was assessed against this enhanced understanding of movement behaviour. A new marine park sanctuary zone that encompassed the shipwreck was appropriately located, but possible benefits of a nearby spatial spawning closure area appear limited.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1438-1453
    Number of pages16
    JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
    Issue number8
    Early online date2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • acoustic monitoring
    • northern Gulf St Vincent
    • patterns of space use
    • South Australia.


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