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Subject: Re: Sticky fish eggs (fwd)
From: David John Hutchinson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 14 Mar 1999 23:16:29 +0000

TEXT/PLAIN (40 lines)

To anyone tht can help:
> I'm interested in collecting samples of eggs from a fish that is known to have sticky, negatively buoyant eggs,
> whose spawning site is not known.  The constraints are that the possible spawning areas are likely to be deep
> (>50 m < 200 m), and the substrate unknown, plus we are not likely to have access to substantial benthic
> How do we sample the eggs? Someone suggested coconut fibre matting, to which the eggs whould adhere.  I'm
> concerned that hauling doormats up from depth would flush out any eggs, unless they really were
> Can anyone suggest an ACME deep benthic fish-egg sampling device?
> For those curious about this mystery fish, it is Engraulicypris sardella from Lake Malawi.  Previously thought to
> have pelagic eggs, intensive surveys done a few years ago (reported in Thompson, A.B. 1996  J. Plankton Res.
> 18: 1349-1368) found few eggs but many newly hatched larvae. The conclusion drawn from this and previous
> studies was that pelagic eggs are unlikely - (discussion in Thompson,  p 1363).  Reviewing cyprinid life-histories
> suggests the same conclusion.  Similarly, if E. sardella spawned in shallow waters, local fishermen would know
> about it.  We have surveyed 'indigenous knowledge' on possible spawning sites, and the indications from
> fishermen are that the sites are deep in the parts of the lake where there are strong currents, but they admit to
> knowing for sure.
> As this fish supports one of Malawi's most important fisheries, finding its spawning habitat is interesting from the
> applied point of view, as well as contributing knowledge to the life history strategies of tropical cyprinids.
many thanks,


David Hutchinson
School of Biological Sciences
University of East Anglia

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