Fine-scale environmental effects on Cape hake survey catch rates in the Northern Benguela, using data from a trawl-mounted instrument package

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2017Researchpeer-review


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We investigated fine-scale effects of environmental variables associated with habitat distribution for 4 size groups of Cape hakes, Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus, using generalized additive models (GAMs) with a negative binominal error distribution. This study took place during the Namibian hake trawl survey of 2016, and was made possible for the first time in Namibia by collecting oceanographic information with a trawl-mounted instrument package concurrently with the catch data. Depth, geographical position, bottom oxygen and bottom temperature had the most pronounced effect on the catch rates of both hake species, whereas solar zenith angle representing diel effects and surface layer chlorophyll appeared to be less important. The explained deviance for the best models ranged from 71.4% for M. capensis to 92.7% for M. paradoxus between 43 and 57 cm in length. Differences in catch rates between species and size groups were most pronounced for bottom depth and bottom oxygen. The results show the potential value of trawl-mounted instrumental packages for the collection of reliable environmental data important in the study of environmental influence on abundance, catch rates and distribution, and in turn in the assessment and management of a resource
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Ecology - Progress Series
Pages (from-to)185-198
Publication statusPublished - 2017
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI
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ID: 140342687