Bulletin 2 - June 1977: Report on the ADMA Fishing Club Contest held on 3rd March 1977
Report on the ADMA Fishing Club Contest held on 3rd March 1977by R.W. Brown
The newly formed ADMA Fishing Club held its first meeting at the Hilton Breakwater on 3rd March 1977. A fishing contest was organized to begin at 3 pm. I attended this contest to act as advisor assisting in the identification of any fish caught.
Approximately 20 competitors cast off from the Hilton Breakwater about three-quarters of the way along on both the seaward side and the shoreward side (14) in the hope of a good catch. Both hand line and rod and line were used and although the largest fish caught was only 12 inches long, many interesting fish were caught. The table at the end of this report lists the fish that were caught.
Bait used during the contest consisted mainly of fresh prawn and squid. The prevailing sea conditions at the time of the contest were as follows:
Sea state: calm
Seawater temp: 25'C
pH: 8.6 (8.9 on the seaward side)
Nitrate level: 0.05 ppm
Specific gravity: 1.032
The pH and nitrite levels were measured using a Tetratest "Laborett".
The prettiest fish caught was the Pomacanthus maculosus, Blue Moon Angel and the most abundant was the Triactus biaculeatus, Silver Leather Jacket.
This fish has a deep blue body with a brilliant yellow half moon crescent in the center. The tail fin is a blue tinted yellow color and upon closer examination reveals a light blue coil-like pattern. This differs from other angelfish such as the Arrusetta asfur that has radial line in the tail fin. Otherwise, the Arrusetta asfur is similar in appearance to Pomacanthus maculosus.
P. maculosus can grow to a length of 18 inches and is fairly common around Abu Dhabi, inhabiting coral and rocky areas. It is very graceful in its movements and can often be seen patrolling a stretch of coral or rock looking for suitable food. This fish tends to be rather shy and solitary in its habits. If another fish intrudes into the territory occupied by P. maculosus an aggressive display, flaring the large gills, usually succeeds in frightening the intruder. The shyness of this fish may explain why only one was caught during the contest.
The sub-adult of this fish has a completely silver body coloring with pale, almost transparent tail second dorsal anal and pectoral fins. The adult attains several light brown-red patches on the upper part of the body and the fins. The mouth is small but the teeth are very strong. This fish can sometimes be observed clinging to a branch of staghorn coral by its teeth. The fish can grow to a length of 10 inches.
The main characteristic of T. bianculatus is that the first dorsal fin and the pelvic fins (2) are replaced by long sharp spines. Normally these spines lie close to the body but if the fish becomes frightened or excited the spines are erected in a spectacular manner. It is this peculiarity which gives the fish its alternative popular name of Tripod Fish.
T. bianculatus inhabits rocky or coral areas but appears to prefer a water depth of greater than 10 feet. This fish is found in abundance in the deep channel below the Muqtaa Bridge.
It is hoped that further studies of the fish caught at other sites around Abu Dhabi will be undertaken. The information from these studies will help in the quest for a better understanding of the many types of fish in this area.
Patron: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan
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