Journal Article

Cod recruitment is strongly affected by climate when stock biomass is low

Keith M. Brander

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 62, issue 3, pages 339-343
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2004.07.029
Cod recruitment is strongly affected by climate when stock biomass is low

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Stocks of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) have been declining over much of the North Atlantic for the past 30 years, owing to a combination of overfishing and adverse changes in their environment. In a previous study, environmental effects were introduced as an extra parameter in the stock-recruit relationship, where they act as a multiplier, independent of the level of spawning-stock biomass (SSB). Using a non-parametric pooled analysis of all cod stocks on the European Shelf south of 62°N, it is shown here that environmental variability (as represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation) only has a significant effect on recruitment when the spawning stock is low. This has implications for fisheries management strategies, and for rates of stock recovery, which will be very dependent on environmental conditions.

Keywords: climate change; cod; NAO; recruitment; stock recovery

Journal Article.  2693 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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