Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Diversity of fishes in seagrass beds in the Quirimba Archipelago, northern Mozambique

Fiona R. Gell and Mark W. Whittington

Marine and Freshwater Research 53(2) 115 - 121
Published: 22 April 2002


The diversity of fishes in seagrass beds at Quirimba Island, northern Mozambique, was studied by sampling artisanal fisheries catches from seine nets and fish traps. In total, 46 629 fish were sampled from seinenet catches and 249 species of fish in 62 families were identified. A total of 3544 fish were sampled from fish traps and 61 species in 24 families were identified. Five species accounted for >60% of total fish biomass: Siganus sutor, Leptoscarus vaigiensis, Lethrinus variegatus, Lethrinus lentjan and Gerres oyena. Some species were present in the seagrass mainly as juveniles, some at all life stages and some as adults only. Catch compositions from the two fishing gears were different; samples from seine nets were dominated by the five species mentioned above, whereas samples from traps were dominated by the seagrass parrotfish Leptoscarus vaigiensis. The importance of seagrass beds for fish biodiversity must be considered in future conservation management decisions.

© CSIRO 2002

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