Fishes of the deep demersal habitat at Ngazidja (Grand Comoro) Island, Western Indian Ocean

Heemstra, P.C. and Hissmann, K. and Fricke, H. and Smale, M.J. and Schauer, J. (2006) Fishes of the deep demersal habitat at Ngazidja (Grand Comoro) Island, Western Indian Ocean. South African Journal of Science, 102 (September/October). pp. 444-460. ISSN 0038-2353




Underwater observations of the coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae Smith, 1939, from a research submersible provided opportunities to study the deep demersal fish fauna at the Comoro Islands. The demersal habitat in depths of 150–400 m at the volcanic island of Ngazidja is low in fish diversity and biomass, compared with the shallow-water coral reef habitat of Ngazidja or the deep demersal habitats of other localities in the Indo-Pacific region. The resident deep demersal fish fauna at Ngazidja is dominated by the coelacanth, an ancient predator that is specially adapted for this low-energy environment. Other large fish predators are scarce in this environment, because of the heavy fishing pressure from local fishermen. Eighty-nine fish taxa (including 65 recognizable species) were recorded from videotapes, photographs, visual observations, fishermen’s catches and ancillary attempts to sample the fish fauna with baited fish traps, gill nets, and hook and line. Although no coelacanth feeding events were seen, seven fish species are known from coelacanth stomach contents, and 64 other fish species in this habitat are considered potential prey of this dominant predator.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Comoros, Demersal fish, Latimeria chalumnae, Coelacanth
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Research Institutes and Units > South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB)
ID Code:553
Deposited By: Ms Vivien Botha
Deposited On:06 Mar 2007
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:18
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