Journal Article

Analyses of Bering Sea bottom-trawl surveys in Norton Sound: absence of regime shift effect on epifauna and demersal fish

Toshihide Hamazaki, Lowell Fair, Leslie Watson and Elisabeth Brennan

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 62, issue 8, pages 1597-1602
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2005.06.003
Analyses of Bering Sea bottom-trawl surveys in Norton Sound: absence of regime shift effect on epifauna and demersal fish

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This study retrospectively examined evidence of ocean climate regime shift effects on epifauna and demersal fish of Norton Sound, Alaska, northeast Bering Sea, based on triennial bottom-trawl surveys from 1976 to 2002. Throughout the period, benthic fauna was dominated by sea stars (48–78%), followed by cods (5–19%), flatfish (5–15%), sculpins (1.5–7%), and crabs (2–6%). From 1976 to 2002, the cpue index of total species increased exponentially (4.5% y−1) by threefold with some declines in 1991 and 1999. The increase was also observed in sea stars (5.1% y−1), flatfish (6.1% y−1), and crabs (2.5% y−1). However, trends of cods and sculpins were mixed. Regression analysis showed the cpue index of total species to be positively correlated with survey years and bottom-water temperature. However, bottom-water temperature, when considered by itself, was not significant. Results suggest that regime shifts caused biomass increases of Norton Sound epifauna and demersal fish.

Keywords: Bering Sea; demersal fishes; epifauna; Norton Sound; regime shift

Journal Article.  2867 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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