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Most people are familiar with the migratory behavior of terrestrial
animals, but even specialists know little about the migrations of
marine species. Among these deep-sea wanderers are so-called pelagic
fishes, which inhabit the wide expanse of oceanic waters far from
the coast. The lack of knowledge about the behavior and ecology of
such species has hindered efforts to maintain healthy populations,
especially in the face of strong pressure from human fishers. In
this article, Klimley, Richert and Jorgensen describe their research
in the Gulf of California, where they observe that pelagic fishes
often form seasonal groups, or assemblages, that migrate between
shallow seamounts and similar topographic features in the ocean.
Their analyses of seamount ecosystems promises to aid the work of
conservationists and fisheries managers who seek to preserve the
diversity and quantity of pelagic fish.
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