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The importance to commercial and recreational fish species of the various habitats found in the nearshore marine waters and estuaries of south-western Australia

Valesini, F.J., Potter, I.C., Wildsmith, M.D., Hourston, M., Platell, M.E., Coen, N.J., Schafer, L.N., Seidel, S.T. and Whitehead, A.L. (2004) The importance to commercial and recreational fish species of the various habitats found in the nearshore marine waters and estuaries of south-western Australia. Murdoch University

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Abstract

This study has developed an approach that will enable fisheries and environmental managers to predict which fish species, and particularly those of recreational and commercial importance, are likely to be found at any site along the lower west coast of Australia. The first step thus involved developing a method whereby the main types of habitat in these waters could be readily and reliably identified. This method used rigorous multivariate statistical techniques to select the suite of quantitative and enduring environmental criteria that were most important for distinguishing among habitat types. Once this had been achieved, we were then able to sample regularly the fish faunas, and also their main invertebrate prey, at sites that had been selected to represent each of those habitat types. This then enabled us to determine the ways in which the densities, diversity and species composition of those faunas are related to habitat type. The predictive approach we have developed is crucial for enabling fisheries and environmental managers to develop appropriate plans for protecting those types of habitat that are most important for key fish species and/or for maintaining biodiversity.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Series Name: FRDO report 2000/159
Publisher: Murdoch University
Copyright: © FRDC & Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, Murdoch University
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/19793
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