The effect of SCUBA divers on the reproductive behavior of Halichoeres bivittatus in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

The purpose of this study is to determine if divers are affecting the reproductive behavior of Halichoeres bivittatus, commonly known as slippery dicks. As an abundant reef fish in the Caribbean, H. bivittatus may be used as a model to study diver impacts on reproductive behavior. If divers are affecting reproductive behavior by delaying the time to reproduction, it could negatively affect the fish’s lifetime reproductive potential and cause decreases in the population at sites with high diver use. I made in situ behavioral observations of H. bivittatus during their daily spawning period between 15:00 and 17:00 h. Spawning rises were enumerated in the presence and absence of a diver to determine if divers affect the number of spawning rises during the observation period. To determine if H. bivittatus become acclimated to the presence of divers, studies at a site with high diver activity were compared to a site with low diver activity. At each site spawning rises were counted in the presence and absence of a diver. An ANOVA indicated that there was no difference in the average number of spawning rises when a diver was present and when a diver was not present. In this study, there was no effect of divers on the reproductive behavior of H. bivittatus

This student research was retrieved from Physis: Journal of Marine Science II (Fall 2007)19: 27-31 from CIEE Bonaire.

Back to search results