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Carrying capacity and survival strategy for the Pacific bluefin tuna, Thunnus orientalis, in the Western Pacific

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The carrying capacity for the Pacific bluefin tuna at each life stage is estimated and its survival strategy is examined numerically, using a new method to define the hypothetical capacity, the standard population, and the search volumes that are necessary and are feasible for the tuna. The carrying capacity for the adult is estimated at 1–2 × 106 individuals, which corresponds with 5–10% of the hypothetical capacity and is comparable with the maximum levels of the southern and the Atlantic bluefin tuna populations. It is hypothesized semiquantitatively that the migration at each life stage and the remarkable decrement of growth at 120 days and about 40 cm occur as an evolutionary response to population excess over the carrying capacity. It is also hypothesized semiquantitatively that the early larvae have minimal food available in the Subtropical Water and develop the predatory morphology, high growth rate, and high mobility, however, at the expense of a high mortality as an evolutionary response to the tuna spawning in the Subtropical Water. This method may be an available tool to not only investigate the carrying capacity and survival strategy of a specific fish species, but also predict when and in how much abundance the fish species occurs in a specific area of its habitat.
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Keywords: Pacific bluefin tuna; carrying capacity; survival strategy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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