Journal Article

Spatial patterns of pollock and zooplankton distribution in the Pribilof Islands, Alaska nursery area and their relationship to pollock recruitment

Gordon Swartzman, Jeffrey Napp, Richard Brodeur, Andreas Winter and Lorenzo Ciannelli

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 59, issue 6, pages 1167-1186
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jmsc.2002.1312
Spatial patterns of pollock and zooplankton distribution in the Pribilof Islands, Alaska nursery area and their relationship to pollock recruitment

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Data from six years, September 1994–1999, of bio-acoustic surveys near the Pribilof Islands, Alaska, (AK), from which age-0 walleye pollock school and zooplankton patch locations have been extracted, were analysed using image-processing methods. Multiple passes along four transects in this major pollock nursery area were examined. The data showed high year-to-year variability in overall abundance of both fish and plankton, but consistent abundance differences between the transects. Juvenile pollock abundance was generally highest in the shallow shelf region to the north of the Pribilof Islands and lowest in the mouth of the Pribilof Canyon to the south. Plankton biomass patterns tended to be the reverse. We identified fronts and regions within the transects based on changes in hydrograpy (e.g. vertical stratification) and bathymetry. Diel migration patterns of pollock and zooplankton within these regions appear to depend on the degree of stratification, the depth, the size of the pollock and the relative abundance of the pollock and zooplankton. Several hypotheses are also discussed concerning the relationship of pollock recruitment year-class strength to large year classes including differences in the environmental conditions, the pervasiveness of the pollock, the size of juvenile pollock and the density of predators.

Keywords: acoustic surveys; spatial distribution; recruitment; walleye pollock; Bering Sea

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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