Fishery and some biological aspects of Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) in West Greenland waters

Frank Riget, Jesper Boje

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A review of available information is presented of recent investigations on the fishery and biology of Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) in West Greenland waters. Biological aspects are discussed mainly in relation to the recruitment to West Greenland area and the connection between the stocks in the West Greenland fjords and the stock complex in the Davis Strait. Larval drift is discussed relating the distribution of pelagic larvae and young demersal stages to the ocean current patterns in the area. Although the main drift pattern seems to be from the assumed spawning area in the Davis Strait to the West Greenland area, it also seems likely that larvae drift from the East Greenland/Iceland area to the southern part of West Greenland. Length frequencies at different places in the West Greenland area seem to indicate that as they grow they migrate deeper, both to the fjords and the continental slope in the Davis Strait. Recaptures from tagging experiments in the inshore area have all been near the tagging site, except for two examples of long distance migrations. A spawning migration from the fjords to the Davis Strait area have not been confirmed by tagging experiments. The recapture rates are shown to be independent of the length of fish. The sex ratios in the fjords at the West Greenland show the proportion of females as generally being the higher and that it is very similar to observed sex ratio on the continental slope of the Davis Strait. Observations on maturity show that a small proportion of the females and a larger proportion of the males in the West Greenland fjords are found in maturity stages just before or at spawning, suggesting that spawning, to some extent, takes place in the fjords. It is therefore proposed that Greenland halibut in the West Greenland fjords are mainly stationary and do not participate in the spawning in the deeper areas of the Davis Strait south of
Original languageEnglish
JournalNorthwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Scientific Council Studies
Issue number13
Pages (from-to)41-52
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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