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Fish schooling behaviour in the northwest North Sea : interspecific associations measured by acoustic survey

Beare, D.J. and Reid, D.G. and McKenzie, E. (2003) Fish schooling behaviour in the northwest North Sea : interspecific associations measured by acoustic survey. Aquatic Living Resources, 16 (3). pp. 307-312. ISSN 0990-7440

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This study investigates whether pelagic fish schools of different species or groupings (e.g. herring, "surface herring", "gadoids", mackerel, sprat and sandeels) were positively or negatively associated with each other in time and space. To do this, statistical models were fitted to pre-processed acoustic fisheries data to reveal how pelagic school prevalence varied with respect to spatial (latitude and longitude) and temporal (time of day) information. The model outputs, which take the form of probabilities fitted to the presence or absence of schools, were then used to calculate correlation coefficients, which are useful for measuring association between pairs of variables. Results depended upon the specific species pairs under investigation. Herring and "surface herring" were, for example, very generally sympatrically associated with each other in both space and time, while herring and gadoid schools, on the other hand, had allopatric distributions.