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Spatial distribution of the Japanese common squid, Todarodes pacificus, during its northward migration in the western North Pacific Ocean

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The spatial distribution of Todarodes pacificus in and near the Kuroshio/Oyashio Transition Zone during its northward migration was examined by comparative surveys using two types of mid-water trawl net and supplementary squid jigging from June to July 2000. The vertical and horizontal distribution patterns varied for different body sizes in relation to the oceanographic structure. Todarodes pacificus of 1–20 cm dorsal mantle length (ML) were widely distributed from the coastal waters of Japan to near 162°E longitude, probably due to transport by the Kuroshio Extension (KE). Todarodes pacificus smaller than 10 cm ML were mainly distributed in temperate surface layers at sea surface temperatures (SSTs) >15°C near the KE meander probably because of their poor tolerance to lower temperatures and limited swimming ability. Squid of 10–15 cm ML were distributed in the offshore waters of 10–15°C SST and in the coastal waters of northern Honshu, and underwent diel vertical migrations between the sea surface at night and deeper layers during the daytime. Squid larger than 15 cm ML were distributed in the coastal feeding grounds of northern Honshu and Hokkaido until they began their southward spawning migration. They also underwent diel vertical migrations, but remained deeper at night than the squid of 10–15 cm ML; this migration pattern closely matched that of their main prey such as euphausiids. We concluded that as T. pacificus grow, they shift their distribution range from the temperate surface layer around the KE toward the colder deeper layers, above 5°C, in the Oyashio and coastal areas.
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Keywords: Cephalopoda; Kuroshio/Oyashio Transition Zone; Ommastrephidae; feeding migration; vertical migration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency, 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-8648, Japan 2: Hachinohe Branch, Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency, 25-259 Shimomekurakubo, Same-machi, Hachinohe, Aomori 031-0841, Japan 3: Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency, 3-27-5 Shinhama-cho, Shiogama, Miyagi 985-0001, Japan

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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