Fish fear divers and snorkelers who try to count them for census

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Washington, July 21 (ANI): A new research by scientists from the University of Victoria has shown that fish avoid the divers and snorkelers who try to count them, and that is why using snorkelers and SCUBA divers may misrepresent the number of fish.

Not all types of fish are equally frightened by the divers, and Faculty of 1000 member Helen Yap, who recommended the study, explains that therefore "such methods may not provide an accurate picture of the actual diversity and abundance of fish communities."

Counting coral reef fish informs researchers about local ecological changes.

However, accurate monitoring of fish populations in other parts of the ocean is also necessary. This is because overfishing has long-term 'evolutionary' effects on fish population and breeding rates.

This was addressed by John Pandolfi in a recent article in Faculty of 1000 Reports. Accurate assessment of changes to fish populations depends on being able to count them.

Pandolfi emphasized that fish populations must be monitored over several generations, saying, "While the field is exciting and changing almost daily, we still have very little information of how species are affected by fisheries-induced evolution, and the extent to which various traits are vulnerable." (ANI)

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