A preliminary survey on the zooplankton composition and distribution has been carried out in the Gulf of Vlore to standardise methods. Micro- and Meso-zooplankton were collected from 7 stations with different mesh sized nets, on 7 June 2003. A total of 94 categories were recognised (34 at the species level). Differences between the 6 Gulf stations were less significant than those resulting from the comparison of each of them with the single station of the Otranto Channel. The presence of fish larvae and eggs was recorded, together with the larval stages of Stomatopoda. This allowed us to affirm the importance of the inlet as nursery areas for fishery important species. The degree of confinement of the area was indicated by the indicator species belonging to the copepod family of Acartiidae (Calanoida), and Oithonidae (Cyclopoida), and by the different size of copepods belonging to different populations of the same species. A plan for future investigation has been proposed to monitor the presence (either in space and time) of economically important larvae and juveniles, to understand life cycle timing of their species in the Gulf of Vlore.
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