Identifying blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou) stock structure in the Northeast Atlantic by otolith shape analysis

Kélig Mahe, Clémence Oudard, Tiphaine Mille, James Keating, Patricia Gonçalves, Lotte Worsøe Clausen, Gróa Petursdottir, Helle Rasmussen, Elna Meland, Eugene Mullins, John K. Pinnegar, Åge Hoines, Verena M. Trenkel

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Information on stock identification and spatial stock structure provide a basis for understanding fish population dynamics and improving fisheries management. In this study, otolith shape analysis was used to study the stock structure of blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou) in the northeast Atlantic using 1693 samples from mature fish collected between 37°N and 75°N
and 20°W and 25°E. The results indicated two stocks located north and south of ICES Divisions VIa and VIb (54°5N to 60°5N, 4°W to 11°W). The central area corresponds to the spawning area west of Scotland. Sampling year effects and misclassification in the linear discriminant analysis suggested exchanges between the northern and southern stocks. The results corroborate previous
studies indicating a structuring of the blue whiting stock into two stocks, with some degree of mixing in the central overlap area
Original languageEnglish
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1363-1371
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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