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Contributions of the VENFISH program: meso-zooplankton, Pacific saury (Cololabis saira) and walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) in the northwestern Pacific

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The comprehensive study of the variation of the oceanic environment and fish populations in the northwestern Pacific (VENFISH) was an interdisciplinary scientific program to enhance our understanding of relationships between the ocean environment and the pelagic fishes, Pacific saury and walleye pollock. As prey of saury and walleye pollock, key species of zooplankton were selected and their life history and production were elucidated. Retrospective analyses were also conducted to investigate the mechanisms of production variation in some zooplankton species. Life history and ecology of Pacific saury and walleye pollock were also investigated and substantial improvements to our understanding of them were achieved. In addition, improved information from VENFISH were used to develop several models to investigate saury growth, and population dynamics, and predatory pressure on zooplankton from walleye pollock. Observational and model results indicate the importance of the Kuroshio and the Kuroshio–Oyashio transition region to saury recruitment and of Oyashio transport to walleye pollock recruitment. Moreover, models developed under VENFISH will become the basis of fisheries management models for saury, walleye pollock, and other fishes in the future.
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Keywords: Pacific saury; fisheries oceanography; meso-zooplankton; walleye pollock

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency (FRA), Shiogama, Miyagi 985-0001, Japan 2: Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-8639, Japan 3: Hokkaido National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency (FRA), Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido 085-0802, Japan 4: National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Fisheries Research Agency (FRA), Kanazawa, Yokohama 236-8648, Japan

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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