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Empirical biomass model for the Japanese sardine, Sardinops melanostictus, with sea surface temperature in the Kuroshio Extension

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An Empirical Biomass Model for the Japanese sardine, Sardinops melanostictus, was developed on the basis of the relationship between February sea surface temperature (SST) in the Kuroshio Extension (30–35°N, 145–180°E) and the mortality coefficient during the period from egg to age 1, observed in 1979–94, to examine the long-term variation of biomass. The periods of the good and bad catch, the year of the biomass peak, and the speed of the biomass decline in the period from 1957 to 1994 were successfully reproduced, except for the biomass increase in the early 1970s. When the model also included with a density-dependent effect, the whole history of the observed catch during 1957–94 was almost perfectly reproduced. These results suggest that the environment in the Kuroshio Extension region, represented by winter–spring SST, is regarded as a leading factor for determining fluctuations of the sardine biomass in the long term, and that the density effect has a secondary contribution.
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Keywords: Kuroshio Extension; Sardinops melanostictus; density effect; empirical biomass model; environmental change

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

Publication date: 01 January 2003

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