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Egg and larval distributions of seven fish species in north-east Atlantic waters

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The distribution of egg and larvae of mackerel, horse mackerel, sardine, hake, megrim, blue whiting and anchovy along the European Atlantic waters (south Portugal to Scotland) during 1998 is described. Time of the year, sea surface temperature and bottom depth are used to define the spawning habitat of the different species. Mackerel, horse mackerel, and sardine eggs and larvae presented the widest distribution, whereas megrim and anchovy showed a limited distribution, restricted to the Celtic Sea and the Bay of Biscay respectively. Correspondingly mackerel, horse mackerel and sardine showed the highest aggregation indices. Blue whiting larvae were found at the lowest temperatures, whereas anchovy eggs and larvae were found in the warmest waters. The analysis is a basis for evaluation of ongoing changes in the pelagic ecosystem of the north-east Atlantic.
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Keywords: Engraulis encrasicholus; Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis; Merluccius merluccius; Micromesistius poutassou; Sardina pilchardus; Scomber scombrus; Trachurus trachurus; aggregation index; ichthyoplankton distribution; north-east Atlantic; spawning habitat characterization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Marine Research Unit – AZTI Foundation Pasaia, Basque Country, Spain 2: MRI – The Martin Ryan Marine Science Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland 3: IEO – Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Madrid, Spain 4: IEO – Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Cádiz, Spain 5: Fisheries Information Systems, IRD-Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, CRHMT-Centre de Recherche Halieutique Méditerranéenne et Tropicale, Sète Cedex, France 6: RIVO – DLO –Netherlands Institute for Marine Research, Ijmuiden, the Netherlands 7: IPIMAR – Instituto de Investigaçao das Pescas e do Mar, Lisboa, Portugal 8: BFA Fi – Federal Research Centre for Fisheries, Institute for Baltic Sea Fisheries, Rostock, Germany 9: IMR – Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway 10: CEFAS – Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft, UK 11: Fisheries Research Services, Marine Laboratory Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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