Journal Article

Daily egg production of anchovy in European waters

Stylianos Somarakis, Isabel Palomera, Alberto Garcia, Luis Quintanilla, Constantin Koutsikopoulos, Andrés Uriarte and Lorenzo Motos

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 61, issue 6, pages 944-958
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Daily egg production of anchovy in European waters

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Since the late 1980s, the Daily Egg Production Method (DEPM) has been applied to several anchovy stocks in European waters. DEPM surveys in the Bay of Biscay were well standardized and focused on providing fisheries-independent information for stock assessment purposes. Those targeting Mediterranean stocks were largely experimental and often opportunistic, with the main aim of developing and testing the method, rather than providing estimates of spawning stock biomass (SSB) for stock assessment. Consequently, the DEPM has been applied once, twice, or a maximum of three times in certain Mediterranean areas with no among-area standardization. Different techniques for several aspects of the method have been used in the Mediterranean, and the parameters estimated vary greatly among stocks and year of application. Evidence is provided that variability in biological production among sub-basins and/or years, a characteristic of Mediterranean Sea, may directly affect anchovy egg production. The daily specific fecundity of anchovy stocks can vary greatly among years, areas, or seasons in response to changing environmental and trophic regimes. When the correlation between regression-derived estimates of daily egg production and associated estimates of daily specific fecundity for anchovy in the Mediterranean, the Bay of Biscay, and upwelling areas are compared, a significant isometric relationship emerges for the Mediterranean and the Bay of Biscay, implying density-dependent use of spawning habitat. In upwelling areas, estimates of daily egg production are relatively high for a narrow range of generally low daily specific fecundities. There is a strong linear relationship between anchovy SSB and spawning area in European waters that does not differ significantly between the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean Sea.

Keywords: anchovy; Bay of Biscay; Daily Egg Production Method; Engraulis encrasicolus; Mediterranean Sea

Journal Article.  9137 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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