Journal Article

Small-scale distribution of juvenile gadoids in shallow inshore waters; what role does maerl play?

Nicholas A. Kamenos, P.Geoffrey Moore and Jason M. Hall-Spencer

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 61, issue 3, pages 422-429
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2004.02.004
Small-scale distribution of juvenile gadoids in shallow inshore waters; what role does maerl play?

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The indirect effects of demersal fisheries, such as habitat degradation, are currently thought to be impacting gadoid stocks. Maerl fulfils nursery area prerequisites for several invertebrate species, so its role in similar ecosystem service provision for gadoids has been addressed. Juvenile cod (Gadus morhua), saithe (Pollachius virens), and pollack (Pollachius pollachius) in shallow (<7 m) inshore waters were surveyed with fykenets and scuba off western Scotland over a period of 12 months. Juvenile densities were highest from September to November, and at that time, significantly more were present during the day and associated with maerl (that lacked macroalgal cover) than with heavily vegetated rocky and gravel substrata. Juvenile cod were present throughout the year, whereas saithe appeared in July, and pollack from September to January. With its abundance of food, maerl probably has a high holding capacity for juvenile gadoids, and thus is an important part of the inshore nursery system.

Keywords: gadoid; holding capacity; inshore waters; juvenile; nursery area; Scotland

Journal Article.  4631 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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