The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 55(4), 2003
The 7th Annual Dan Popper Symposium


WAS THE ICHTHYOFAUNA OF THE SANDY SHORE OF THE
NORTHERN GULF OF EILAT INFLUENCED BY ADJACENT
MARICULTURE ACTIVITY?


Daniel Golani* and Amit Lerner

Department of Evolution, Systematics and Ecology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Abstract

The ichthyofauna of the sandy shore of the northern Gulf of Eilat was the subject of a long-term study whose objective was to assess the possible impact of mariculture activity adjacent to the study site. We used data from 1984-1986 that was collected prior to the commencement of local fish farm activity. A second set of data was collected during 1989-1994, when the nearby fish farms produced a low yield. The final studied period was 2000-2001 when the annual adjacent fish farm production was close to 2000 tons. Fish assemblages in the three periods were compared by number of individuals, number of species and biomass per sample and by accumulative number of species. Data were analyzed by time of day (morning, noon, evening, night) and season. Cluster analysis (UPGMA) was performed on the data. The number of species collected in all three periods totaled 93. Three of these species (e.g., Sparus aurata, Dicentrarchus labrax and Oreochromis mossambicus) were exotic to the region and their presence resulted from human activity. The results showed a high similarity in the structure of the fish assemblage during all three periods of the study. No significant difference was detected in any of the studied parameters. The same fish species remained significant and retained their level of relative importance throughout all three periods.

*email: dgolani@cc.huji.ac.il

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