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Interannual variability and intraannual stability of the otolith shape in European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus (L.) in the Bay of Biscay

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In this study 1047 samples of European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus caught in 2001, 2002 and 2003 in different areas of the Bay of Biscay were examined using otolith shape analysis. For the years 2001 and 2003, 1 year-old individuals were dominant, whereas for the year 2002 they were less common; in contrast 2 year-old individuals represented 74% of the total individuals, suggesting that the fisheries in 2002 were mainly supported by the strong recruitment of 2000. The classification success of the discriminant analysis indicated a strong separation between year groups (P < 0·001), overall, 98% of individuals were correctly classified. Results from both jackknife and Cohen’s kappa procedures confirmed the high rates of classification success obtained by the discriminant analysis (99 and 97%, respectively). Stability in the intraannual shape analysis leads to the idea that individuals were affected by the same intraannual environmental conditions in the Bay of Biscay. Variability in the interannual shape analysis could indicate that the spawning population is composed of European anchovy from different origins every year. In general differences observed suggested that the European anchovy in the Bay of Biscay were members of three or more different communities or entities.

Keywords: Engraulididae; Fourier analysis; France; otolith shape

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Laboratoire d’Ichtyoécologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, CNRS UMR 8046, Université de Perpignan, 52, av. Paul ALDUY, 66860 Perpignan Cedex, France

Publication date: January 1, 2007


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