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Interannual distribution of Pacific hake Merluccius productus larvae in the southern part of the California Current

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Abstract:

The interannual distribution of early life stages of Pacific hake Merluccius productus, within the southern part of the California Current (32–23° N) from 1951 to 2001, was examined to describe the relationship between spawning habitat and environmental conditions. Mean annual abundance was affected by different factors along the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula. In the northern areas (Ensenada and Punta Baja), reduced abundance of larvae coincided with the El Niño and a North Pacific Ocean climatic regime shift, but in the southern areas (San Ignacio to Bahía Magdalena), the drastic reductions suggested a fishery effect for large adults of the coastal migratory population, starting in 1966. Two spawning stocks, coastal and dwarf, were evident in comparisons of latitudinal differences in occurrence of early stages and differences in temperature preferences that seemed to break at Punta Eugenia.

Keywords: Baja California Peninsula; California Current; Merluccius productus; Pacific hake; larval distribution

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2009.02327.x

Affiliations: Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Av. IPN s/n, Col. Playa Palo de Santa Rita, La Paz, Baja California Sur 23096, Mexico

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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