Journal Article

The characterization of sardine (<i>Sardina pilchardus</i> Walbaum) schools off the Spanish-Atlantic coast

Ramón Muiño, Pablo Carrera and Magdalena Iglesias

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 60, issue 6, pages 1361-1372
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
The characterization of sardine (Sardina pilchardus Walbaum) schools off the Spanish-Atlantic coast

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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This paper describes the main characteristics of sardine schools detected in the Spanish-Atlantic surveys carried out from 1992 to 1997 (except 1994). A series of parameters were obtained for each school (morphological, positional and energetic) as well as environmental factors (temperature and salinity). The relationships between the school parameters were analyzed by a PCA and then the school parameters per se were described using both univariate and multivariate analyses (Box-plots, ANOVAs, MANOVA, and discriminant analysis). The results show that significant differences exist between years and geographic areas in that the Rías Baixas schools were smaller in size and of higher density than those from the Cantabric area. These differences could be related to the facts that the Rías Baixas is a nursery zone and sardine length and age are smaller than in the Cantabric Sea. It would seem that the differences in school morphology and energetic characteristics related to length and age of individuals allow us to distinguish between the sardine echo traces in this area. There is a high annual variability in the number of schools and this is not a function of either survey design or strategy and it is not related to the abundance estimates of sardine. These results are important for both future species identification and the improvement of survey design and strategy.

Keywords: acoustics; sardine; school; Spanish-Atlantic; temporal and spatial variability

Journal Article.  4117 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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