Species composition and ecological relationships of icthyofauna on artificial Liberty Ship reefs off Port Aransas, Texas : final report submitted to the Texas Coastal and Marine Council in partial fulfillment of IAC (78-79)-0869
MetadataShow full item record
Five cruises were made to the Liberty Ship Reef off Port Aransas, Texas in June and July 1978. Collecting procedures, which included sampling by fish trap, hook and line, and long line, were relatively unchanged from previous trips. Increased diver participation allowed more reliable placement of the traps onto the deck of the ships. Diver observations of fish greatly supplemented other data collecting methods. Fishes collected or observed on the ship reef were divided into four ecological groups: 1) obligate reef fishes which are demersal and almost always associated with natural or artificial structures, 2) coastal pelagic species which are attracted to structures for orientation, 3) estuarine-dependent opportunistic species which exploit the reef for food and shelter but are not confined to that habitat, 4) typical continental shelf species which occur near the ship reef but are not actually associated with it. At this time of year the Liberty Ship reefs support a large and diverse fish fauna, composed of both predator and prey species, and appears to have many characteristics of a complete reef habitat with an abundance of catchable sportfish.
Submitted August 1978