Depth and temperature preferences of satellite-tagged meagre, Argyrosomus regius, in the NE Atlantic

Lily Bovim
room 1
Session 4, August 26, 16:00-17:30

This study investigates the temperature and depth preferences of the meagre, Argyrosomus regius, via the use of satellite telemetry. Knowledge of the vertical and thermal habitat of fish within their three-dimensional marine habitat informs population assessments, predictions of their response to climate change and is fundamental to understanding their bioenergetic, thermoregulatory and trophic ecology. Meagre are one of the largest Sciaenids and has characteristics which make many of this group vulnerable, such as a late age at maturity and the reliance on coastal and estuarine waters for their annual spawning aggregations. Despite a “Least Concern” IUCN Red Listing, meagre lack population abundance information, have become locally extinct in some regions, are caught at sizes below their size-at-maturity and have unusually high levels of genetic fragmentation in their European population. Using satellite telemetry data of the depth and temperature experience of meagre tagged off the southern coast of Portugal, mainly gathered during the 2018 and 2019 boreal autumn and winter, this research provides unique evidence supporting known meagre depth and temperature preferences and seasonal behaviour. Meagre inhabited deeper, cooler waters during the winter and shallower waters in autumn and spring. Their behaviour outside the summer spawning season has long evaded scientists.