Escape-related behaviour of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua): motivation to escape from sea cages and spatiotemporal dispersal post-escape

Zimmermann, Emily W. (2012) Escape-related behaviour of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua): motivation to escape from sea cages and spatiotemporal dispersal post-escape. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study addresses the potential for interaction between escapee farmed and wild cod following escape from aquaculture sea cages. The first chapter introduces the topic of fish escapes from a behavioural perspective. The second chapter investigates the role of suboptimal conditions and individual temperament on net biting behaviour. The data suggest that appropriate feeding levels combined with cage enrichment, as well as good net maintenance, may lead to reduced net interactions and thus fewer holes, reducing the potential for fish to escape. In the third chapter, I used acoustic telemetry to determine the spatiotemporal distribution of local wild cod and escapee farmed cod following a simulated escape. Farmed cod dispersed from the cage site rapidly and mixed with local wild cod, suggesting a high potential for interactions and highlighting the importance of reducing escapes before they occur. These results can be applied to reduce the number of escapes, streamlining the development of the industry before mitigation becomes too difficult and costly to implement.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10041
Item ID: 10041
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology
Date: 2012
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Atlantic cod--Behavior; Escapement (Fisheries); Atlantic cod fisheries; Fish culture--Equipment and supplies.

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