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Decadal change in abundance of surface migratory myctophid fishes in the Kuroshio region from 1957 to 1994

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Decadal change in abundance of surface migratory myctophid fishes was examined in the Kuroshio region of the western North Pacific for the 35 yr from 1957 to 1994 in relation to the Kuroshio regime shift, indicated by changes in its transport volume and sea surface temperature in the early 1970s. Each year, samples were collected from the 0- to 1-m depth layer at night, from January to March, at 83 stations on average. Ten species belonging to five genera occurred. Juveniles [standard length (SL) ≤ 40 mm] and adults (SL > 40 mm) of each species were analysed. In juveniles, Myctophum asperum, M. nitidulum, Symbolophorus evermanni and Centrobranchus brevirostris accounted for 91.1% of the total catch (7419 individuals), while M. nitidulum contributed 82.4% of the total adult catch (494 individuals). The abundance of juvenile S. evermanni, C. brevirostris and M. nitidulum showed prominent peaks in 1971, together with adult M. nitidulum. These peaks corresponded to extraordinarily high zooplankton abundance in the Kuroshio region in 1971, suggesting high recruitment success and low adult mortality in surface migratory myctophids. Smaller changes in abundance in other years were species-specific, and the fluctuation patterns were mainly explained by year-to-year fluctuations in the strength of the Kuroshio and the geographical distribution of each species, i.e. an increased Kuroshio flow volume resulted in an increase in tropical species and a decrease in temperate species, but no change in the pan-Kuroshio species.
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Keywords: Kuroshio regime shift; decadal change in abundance; myctophid fish; retrospective study; surface migrant

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 1-15-1 Minamidai Nakano-ku, Tokyo, 164-8639, Japan

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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