A preliminary fish survey of the estuaries on the south-east coast of South Africa, Kei Estuary to Mdumbi: A comparative study

  • NC James 1. South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa; 2. Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9472-5314
  • TD Harrison 1. Marine and Fisheries Division, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, 17 Antrim Rd, Lisburn, BT28 3AL, Northern Ireland; 2. South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
Keywords: ichthyofauna, estuarine survey, fish habitat, southern Transkei

Abstract

A preliminary ichthyofaunal and physico-chemical survey of estuaries on the south-east coast of South Africa from the Kei Estuary to the Mdumbi Estuary was undertaken between October and November 1997. Twenty-seven (27) estuaries were surveyed along this stretch of coastline and these were grouped into three estuary types: small (< 10 ha) predominantly closed estuaries, moderate to large (> 10 ha) predominantly closed estuaries and predominantly open estuaries. Multivariate analyses revealed significant differences between predominantly closed estuaries and predominantly open estuaries in terms of both their physico-chemical characteristics and their fish communities. There was no difference between small and moderate to large predominantly closed estuaries.  A significant relationship was also observed between the physico-chemical characteristics of the estuaries and their fish communities.  The estuaries in the study area fall within the warm-temperate biogeographic region; temperate species dominated the fish communities of all the estuaries. This survey represents one of the few fish surveys undertaken along this little-studied section of the coastline. 

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Published
2020-07-28
Section
Research paper