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Influence of shark tourism on the activity and physiological condition of a non-focal pelagic fish

journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-17, 00:56 authored by Thomas M Clarke, Sasha WhitmarshSasha Whitmarsh, Curtis Champion, Hugh Pederson, Lauren Meyer, Joshua D Dennis, Ross G Dwyer, Charlie Huveneers
Abstract Wildlife tourism can have adverse effects on the behaviours and movements of animals, with implications for the health and fitness of individuals and populations. We used acoustic-tracking to show that food-based attractants used in shark-tourism increases activity (15%) and burst behaviours (60%) in yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi, n = 18). Increased activity was restricted to periods when kingfish were on the same side of the island group as berleying tourism vessels, but decreased after operators left the site. Despite the raised activity and frequency of burst swimming events, the physiological condition of kingfish (n = 39, 6 tagged, and 33 untagged) measured using bioelectrical impedance analysis remained consistent with kingfish from control sites not exposed to tourism. This suggests that kingfish were able to compensate raised energy expenditure by feeding on bait and berley used by operators or through natural foraging. We highlight that the effects of provisioning from wildlife tourism can extend beyond changes in behaviours and movements and can additionally influence the energetic condition of non-focal animals through increased activity. However, supplemental food-sources provided through wildlife tourism may be sufficient to compensate for the increased energy expenditure and lessen the effects of tourism on individual fitness and health.

History

Journal

ICES Journal of Marine Science: journal du conseil

Volume

80

Pagination

1670-1682

Location

Oxford, Eng.

ISSN

1054-3139

eISSN

1095-9289

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Editor/Contributor(s)

Weltersbach S

Issue

6

Publisher

Oxford University Press