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Bio-physical modelling of the early life stages of haddock, Melanogrammus aeglefinus, in the North Sea

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An individual-based modelling approach was developed to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns in the recruitment processes of North Sea haddock, Melanogrammus aeglefinus. The approach was based on the realization that the survivors to recruitment of an annual cohort are most probably not drawn at random from the initial population of eggs, but represent the fastest-growing individuals. Individual growth rates reflect the unique exposure of each larva to the environment along its drift trajectory. In this context, the environment refers to a wide range of factors affecting growth such as food, turbulence and temperature. A combination of a model of egg production by the adult stock, a particle-tracking scheme, and a model of larval growth and mortality rate was used to simulate the dispersal trajectories, and the survival of haddock larvae spawned at different times and locations on the continental shelf. The particle tracking was driven by flowfields from a climatological implementation of the Hamburg Shelf-Ocean Model (HAMSOM) for the North Sea and NE Atlantic. The system was able to resolve spatial and temporal patterns in the recruitment process and indicated that the surviving population of larvae was drawn from a restricted part of the spawning distribution. The results have the potential to guide the development of future conservation measures in fisheries management.
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Keywords: egg production; growth; larvae; particle-tracking model; recruitment; survival

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Marine Laboratory, PO Box 101, Victoria Road, Aberdeen AB11 9DB, Scotland 2: Zoology Department, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, Scotland

Publication date: 1998-07-01

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