Journal Article

Pollock (<i>Pollachius virens</i>) stock structure in the Canadian Maritimes inferred from mark-recapture studies

John D. Neilson, Wayne T. Stobo and Peter Perley

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 63, issue 4, pages 749-765
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Pollock (Pollachius virens) stock structure in the Canadian Maritimes inferred from mark-recapture studies

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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The current management unit for pollock on the Canadian Atlantic coast is large compared with other gadoid resources, and includes the Scotian Shelf, the Bay of Fundy, and the Canadian portion of Georges Bank. Based on an analysis of mark-recapture studies conducted in the Canadian Maritimes and off southwestern Newfoundland and a review of other published studies providing data relevant to stock identification, the stock structure of pollock in Canadian Atlantic waters was re-assessed. The analysis also includes a novel method for using the spatial distribution of standardized fishing effort to predict the distribution of tag returns. It is concluded that three stocks co-occur within the current management unit. The larger population components exist in the western Scotian Shelf (including the eastern Bay of Fundy) and on the eastern Scotian Shelf. There is a coastal population in the western Gulf of Maine that overlaps into Canadian waters, but its size is likely to be relatively small. There is a need to revise the current management unit boundaries to protect the eastern Scotian Shelf stock, which on the basis of growth rate data, appears to be the least productive component of the pollock resource in Canadian Atlantic waters.

Keywords: mark-recapture; pollock; saithe; stock

Journal Article.  7744 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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