• carangid;
  • fish-aggregating devices;
  • habitat use;
  • Mediterranean Sea;
  • spatial distribution

Abstract  Fish-aggregating devices are floating objects used worldwide to improve pelagic fishery yield. Fish-aggregating devices use the natural attraction exerted by floating objects on juveniles and adults of both pelagic and demersal fish. In this study, it was hypothesised that fish change their degree and type of interaction with moored floating objects depending on size. This is because fishes in early life stage remain close to floating objects, using them as a shelter, but as they grow they move further away from floating objects spending their time swimming to seek food. To test this hypothesis, the spatial distribution and habitat use of five Mediterranean fish species were quantified. The results enabled the hypothesis to be accepted for all species, except Balistes carolinensis Gmelin. For this species, a shelter from predator model was applicable, but for the other species, the generalised meeting point model was more adaptable.