Spatio-temporal dynamics and management implications of the nightly appearance of Boops boops (Acanthopterygii, Perciformes) juvenile shoals in the anthropogenically modified Mediterranean littoral zone


A remarkable phenomenon of dense Boops boops shoals appearing almost adjacent to the shoreline during nighttime is known to the locals of island communities of the Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean). In this work, we investigated this appearance testing the hypotheses that (a) it may occur only in anthropogenically modified locations (as suggested by previous observations), (b) the migration pattern to the littoral is not arbitrary but synchronized to the sunset/sunrise, (c) fish abundance is affected by location, season and/or natural (moon) light fluctuations. Quantitative sampling included visual observations from the coast at five stations in Syros (Cyclades, Greece) from July 2009 to September 2010. Both hypotheses concerning occurrence only in anthropogenically modified locations and timing with sunset/sunrise were confirmed. Fish abundance was modelled using generalized additive models, demonstrating a seasonal pattern and revealing significant differences among sampling stations, but no moon-phase effects. The phenomenon investigated here has implications for fisheries management, as the shoal proximity to the shore renders them prone to illegal harvesting (seasonally at high abundances), aggravating the problem of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Further considerations on the integrated management of the coastal zone arise, especially concerning the effects of habitat structural modification and light pollution.

DOI: 10.1007/s10750-014-1871-z

Extracted Key Phrases

7 Figures and Tables

Showing 1-10 of 81 references


  • M.-L. & J.-C Bauchot, Hureau
  • 1986
Highly Influential
6 Excerpts

Biology and structure of the populations of bogue Boops boops (L.) in the sea area of the island of Crete, PhD Thesis and Annex

  • A A Kallianiotis
  • 1992
Highly Influential
4 Excerpts

Potential effects of artificial light associated with anthropogenic infrastructure on the abundance and foraging behaviour of estuary-associated fishes

  • A Becker, A K Whitfield, P D Cowley, J Järnegren, T F Naesje
  • 2013
Highly Influential
3 Excerpts

A Métier-Sustainability-Index (MSI25) to evaluate fisheries components: assessment of cases from data-poor fisheries from southern Europe

  • E Tzanatos, J Castro, A Forcada, S Maticmatic´-Skoko, M Gaspar & C Koutsikopoulos
  • 2013
1 Excerpt

Coastal man-made habitats: potential nurseries for an exploited fish species

  • J Pastor, B Koeck, P Astruch, P Lenfant
  • 2013
1 Excerpt

Daily shoaling patterns in the zebrafish Danio rerio

  • T Paciorek, S Mcrobert
  • 2013

Diel fish movements in the littoral zone of a temporarily closed South African estuary

  • A Becker, P D Cowley, A K Whitfield, J Järnegren, T F Naesje
  • 2011
1 Excerpt