Seasonal and spatial differences in the fish assemblage of the non-estuarine Sulaibikhat Bay, Kuwait
In the period September 1986 to August 1987 fish were captured once a month, using an otter trawl, from the intertidal and subtidal regions of Sulaibikhat Bay, Kuwait. Correlation analysis revealed that numbers were not directly related to temperature at the time of sampling. The recruitment of large numbers of young of the year Liza carinata (Valenciennes) during March was related to low temperatures in November, the probable time of spawning of this species. Salinity at the time of sampling was inversely correlated with numbers. This result indicates that large numbers of 0+fish recruit to the Bay during the period of maximum fresh water outflow through the Shatt-al-Arab. Numbers of fish were significantly greater in the intertidal region, where they were present almost entirely as 0 group fish, than in the subtidal. The three dominant species of the assemblage are shown to use the two depth intervals in differnt ways. L. carinata was capture a almost exclusively in the intertidal region as 0+ fish. Pomadasys stridens (Forsskål) was captured as 0+ fish in both the intertidal and subtidal regions but in greater numbers in the intertidal region. Leiognathus brevirostris (Valenciennes) was captured as small, mostly 0+ individuals in the intertidal region and as larger fish in the subtidal region. The use made by the smaller fish of the intertidal region is related to the avoidance of sublittoral predators and reduction of intraspecific competition, whilst larger fish in the sublittoral region may be avoiding predation by piscivorous birds.
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