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Modelling the dispersal of larval Japanese sardine, Sardinops melanostictus, by the Kuroshio Current in 1993 and 1994

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Acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) data collected during routine monitoring surveys of the distribution and abundance of Japanese sardine larvae (Sardinops melanostictus) off the Pacific coast of Japan in February 1993 and 1994 were used to construct stationary average flowfields for three levels in the upper 100 m in each year. No large-scale meanders in the path of the Kuroshio Current were present in either year, but the axis of the current was closer to the coast in 1993 than in 1994. The flowfields were used to drive a particle-tracking model representing the dispersal of sardine eggs and larvae. Particles were released in accordance with the observed distribution of eggs, and their positions tracked for up to 40 days. In 1993, the model indicated that ≈ 50% of the egg production was carried north-eastwards out of the survey area into the area of the NW Pacific referred to as the Kuroshio Extension Zone. In contrast, only 5% of the egg production was exported to the Extension Zone in 1994, the remainder being retained in Japanese coastal waters. The consequences of the different dispersal patterns are discussed in relation to subsequent recruitment to the sardine stock. Based on commercial catch data, survival of the 1993 year class was 15% of that for the 1994 class. Hence, the results indicate that export of larvae to the Kuroshio Extension cannot in itself lead to successful recruitment.
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Keywords: ADCP; Japanese sardine larvae; dispersal; particle-tracking model; recruitment

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Marine Laboratory, PO Box 101, Victoria Road, Aberdeen AB11 9DB, Scotland, UK, 2: National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, 2-12-4, Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236, Japan, 3: Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 1-15-1 Minamidai, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164, Japan, 4: Nansei National Fisheries Research Institute, 6-1-21, Sanbashi-dori, Kochi 780, Japan

Publication date: 1998-12-01

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