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Environmental effects on recruitment and productivity of Japanese sardine Sardinops melanostictus and chub mackerel Scomber japonicus with recommendations for management

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We compared a wide range of environmental data with measures of recruitment and stock production for Japanese sardine Sardinops melanostictus and chub mackerel Scomber japonicus to examine factors potentially responsible for fishery regimes (periods of high or low recruitment and productivity). Environmental factors fall into two groups based on principal component analyses. The first principal component group was determined by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index and was dominated by variables associated with the Southern Oscillation Index and Kuroshio Sverdrup transport. The second was led by the Arctic Oscillation and dominated by variables associated with Kuroshio geostrophic transport. Instantaneous surplus production rates (ISPR) and log recruitment residuals (LNRR) changed within several years of environmental regime shifts and then stabilized due, we hypothesize, to rapid changes in carrying capacity and relaxation of density dependent effects. Like ISPR, LNRR appears more useful than fluctuation in commercial catch data for identifying the onset of fishery regime shifts. The extended Ricker models indicate spawning stock biomass and sea surface temperatures (SST) affect recruitment of sardine while spawning stock biomass, SST and sardine biomass affect recruitment of chub mackerel. Environmental conditions were favorable for sardine during 1969–87 and unfavorable during 1951–67 and after 1988. There were apparent shifts from favorable to unfavorable conditions for chub mackerel during 1976–77 and 1985–88, and from unfavorable to favorable during 1969–70 and 1988–92. Environmental effects on recruitment and surplus production are important but fishing effects are also influential. For example, chub mackerel may have shifted into a new favorable fishery regime in 1992 if fishing mortality had been lower. We suggest that managers consider to shift fishing effort in response to the changing stock productivity, and protect strong year classes by which we may detect new favorable regimes.
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Keywords: Japanese sardine; chub mackerel; fishery management; productivity; regime shift

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Research Institute of Fishery Science, Fisheries Research Agency, 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-8648, Japan 2: National Research Institute of Fishery Science (Kochi Station), Fisheries Research Agency, 6-1-21 Sanbashidori, Kochi 780-8010, Japan 3: Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency, 3-27-5 Shinhama-cho, Shiogama 985-0001, Japan 4: National Marine Fishery Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1026, USA

Publication date: 2005-07-01

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