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Re-assessment of the stock–recruit and temperature–recruit relationships for Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax)

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The harvest guideline for Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) incorporates an environmental parameter based on averaged surface temperatures at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography pier (SIO pier) in La Jolla, California, USA, which would be invoked after a series of cool years to reduce commercial catches using a precautionary decision rule. We revisit the stock–recruit and temperature–recruit relationships underpinning the currently used environmental parameter for sardine assessment and found that the temperature–recruit relationship no longer holds for the SIO pier when time series are updated with data from more recent years. The significance of the correlation between temperature and recruitment was also artificially increased by autocorrelation in the time series. In contrast, the stock–recruit relationship was still valid when recent data were added. SIO pier surface temperatures are warmer than 10m-depth Southern California Bight (SCB) temperatures where the sardine spawn, and the difference has increased since the late 1970s. Sardine recruitment was also not related to offshore temperatures in the SCB. We demonstrate that the environmental proxy derived from SIO pier temperature, which has never affected the harvest guideline since its implementation, no longer predicts recruitment of Pacific sardine, and should be removed from sardine management.

Les directives pour la récolte des sardines du Pacifique (Sardinops sagax) incorporent une variable environnementale basée sur la moyenne des températures en surface au quai de la Scripps Insitution of Oceanography (SIO) à La Jolla, Californie, É.-U., qui pourrait être invoquée après une série d’années fraîches afin de réduire les récoltes commerciales en utilisant une règle décisionnelle préventive. Nous réexaminons les relations stock-recrues et température-recrues qui sous-tendent la variable environnementale couramment utilisée pour l’évaluation des sardines et trouvons que la relation température-recrues n’est plus valable pour le quai de la SIO quand les séries chronologiques sont mises à jour avec les données des années récentes. La signification de la corrélation entre la température et le recrutement est aussi artificiellement haussée par l’autocorrélation dans la série chronologique. En revanche, la relation stock-recrues reste valide après l’addition des données récentes. Les températures de surface au quai de la SIO sont supérieures aux températures à la profondeur de 10m dans le golfe du Sud de la Californie (SCB) où les sardines se reproduisent et la différence a augmenté depuis la fin des années 1970. Le recrutement des sardines n’est pas non plus relié aux températures du large dans la SCB. Nous démontrons que la variable environnementale de remplacement dérivée de la température au quai de la SIO ne permet plus de prédire le recrutement des sardines du Pacifique et devrait être exclue de la gestion des sardines.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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