Baker, K.D.; Haedrich, R.L.; Snelgrove, P.V.R.; Wareham, V.E.; Edinger, E;N.; Gilkinson, K.D. (2012). Small-scale patterns of deep-sea fish distributions and assemblages of the Grand Banks, Newfoundland continental slope. Deep-sea Research Part I-oceanographic Research Papers. 65 171-188.
Deep-sea fishes are the target of directed fisheries and are considered a conservation concern. Yet, we still know little about the factors that affect deep-sea fish distributions and assemblage patterns on relatively small spatial scales. We used results from remotely operated vehicle surveys that observed 105 km (similar to 346 960 m(2)) of seafloor over a depth range of 351-2245 m in three canyons off Newfoundland to examine the occurrence, behavior, habitat specificity, and regional assemblage patterns of deepsea fishes in this region. We found distinct assemblages based on both depth and habitat classifications. The most obvious unique assemblage was that associated with outcrops, which served as habitat for relatively rare species such as Neocyttus helgae, Hoplostethus atlanticus, and Lepidion eques. Several coral habitats hosted distinct assemblages when compared to other habitats with low or medium structural complexity. Our results illustrate that any program targeted at protecting deep-sea ecosystems must protect a wide-range of habitats and depths to conserve a variety of fish species and assemblages. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.