Stock size of northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) in West Greenland waters has been fairly stable from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. Thereafter, survey estimates of biomass increased substantially, and the exploitation rate declined slightly in the most recent years. The present analysis was carried out oil a spatially disaggregated basis in order to account for the latitudinal differences in bottom temperature and shrimp density. Changes in recruitment and, with a lag of 2 years, in stock biomass were most pronounced in the northern part of its distributional range, while bottom temperature increased in all survey regions since the mid-1990s. Length-at-age was positively correlated with temperature in general, but a trend towards slower growth was observed in areas with the highest stock densities in the most recent years. It is concluded that the moderate increase in temperature above a lower threshold of the optimal range in the northern regions has extended the distributional area that is most favourable for northern shrimp. This, together with a decreasing rate of exploitation and a continuous low predation pressure, resulted in an increase of the stock to a level at which density-dependent effects have become prominent in parts of study area. (c) 2005 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Journal||ICES Journal of Marine Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|