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The effects of seasonal and interannual variability of oceanic structure in the western Pacific North Equatorial Current on larval transport of the Japanese eel Anguilla japonica

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As the North Equatorial Current (NEC)–bifurcation is known to be related to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, the influence of the position of the NEC bifurcation on transport success of the larval Japanese eel Anguilla japonica was investigated. Using a Lagrangian modelling approach, larval transport was simulated and the relative influence of El Niño and La Niña events and the NEC-bifurcation position on the success of particle transport analysed. The number of particles transported from the NEC to the Kuroshio tended to be lowest during El Niño years, and differences between La Niña and regular years were small. The transport success observed in simulations showed some relationships to annual A. japonica glass eel recruitment to Tanegashima Island over 1993 to 2001, but not in 2002. The study shows that particle tracking simulations can be used to improve knowledge of the oceanic migration of A. japonica but further studies are required, including comparisons with the effects on larval survival of fluctuations in temperature and food availability.
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Keywords: ENSO; Lagrangian modelling; NEC-bifurcation; oceanic migration; recruitment success

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Ocean Research Institute, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, 1-15-1 Minamidai, Nakanoku, Tokyo 164-8639, Japan 2: Earth Simulator Centre, Japan Agency for Marine–Earth Science and Technology, 3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0001, Japan

Publication date: 01 June 2009

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