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Examines in Marine Biology & Oceanography

Scuba Divers Behavior Shapes Fish Wariness and Boldness

Submission: January 24, 2023;Published: February 09, 2023

DOI: 10.31031/EIMBO.2023.05.000616

ISSN : 2578-031X
Volume5 Issue4


Responses of Chromis viridis, a coral dwelling damselfish, to divers in sites differing by pressure of diving and by type of diving activity (recreational versus scientific) were examined. We measured variation in hiding time and the distance from a refuge of the fish as they were exposed to divers. Populations of C. viridis were tolerant to divers at locations of high regular exposure. Overall, younger fish were more tolerant to divers than older fish. However, where both recreational and scientific diving occurred, fish remained wary, displaying a behavior comparable to the site in which diving is banned. These results show a dynamic response of fishes to human visitation. We suggest that diving clubs and authorities should invest in divers training. Last, we warn that scientific procedures, even if targeted towards a specific fish species, may cause behavioral changes across the fish community..

Keywords: Coral reef fish; Diving; Human visitation; Tolerance; Wariness

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