Blue whiting distribution and migration in Greenland waters

Søren Post*, Heino O. Fock, Teunis Jansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Here, we provide the first comprehensive documentation of the north-western extreme of the blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou, Risso 1827) distribution in Greenland waters. We compile data from hydroacoustic surveys, commercial fisheries, and bottom trawl surveys (1981–2017) and use age specific Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) to describe the historical variation in abundance and horizontal and vertical distribution. Based on those results, we infer ontogenetic progressing migration patterns of 0 to 12 years old blue whiting. We find blue whiting along the west, south and east coasts of Greenland from 59.4 °N – 71.0 °N, with the highest densities in the surveys at the shelf slope south of Dohrn Bank and the highest commercial catches at
Kolbeinsey ridge off East Greenland. The spatiotemporal patterns found by statistical modelling suggest annual migrations of both juvenile and adult blue whiting into Greenland waters. Juveniles appear to enter east Greenland waters from the spawning areas further east during their first summer. During the subsequent two years, the majority of juveniles reach further to the south and west where they utilise South and West Greenland as nursey areas. When reaching adulthood they return to the spawning areas in the east, and their annual feeding migrations towards west only reach East Greenland
Original languageEnglish
JournalFisheries Research
Pages (from-to)123-135
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Micromesistius poutassou
  • Mesopelagic
  • Spatiotemporal distribution
  • Trwal and acoustic survey
  • Tweedie

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