Journal Article

Migrations, fishery interactions, and management units of sea bass (<i>Dicentrarchus labrax</i>) in Northwest Europe

M. G. Pawson, G. D. Pickett, J. Leballeur, M. Brown and M. Fritsch

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 64, issue 2, pages 332-345
Published in print March 2007 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsl035
Migrations, fishery interactions, and management units of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in Northwest Europe

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Pawson, M. G., Pickett, G. D., Leballeur, J. Brown, M., and Fritsch, M. 2007. Migrations, fishery interactions, and management units of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in Northwest Europe. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 64: 332–345.

A total of 4959 sea bass was tagged between 2000 and 2005 around the coasts of England, Wales, southern Ireland, and the Channel Isles to investigate whether movement patterns documented in 1987 have changed and to estimate the level of competition for sea bass between inshore and offshore fisheries. Most (54%) of the recaptures of adult bass (fish >40 cm) tagged inshore and made between May and October were within 16 km of the release positions. From November on, an increasing proportion was recaptured at least 80 km south or southwest of tagging sites. Bass tagged on offshore spawning grounds in March and April showed reciprocal movement, 75% of recaptures between May and October being at least 80 km from the release site. These observations reaffirm the hypothesis that adult sea bass may move considerable distances to offshore winter spawning areas, but there was little evidence of the spawning migrations between the North Sea and the western Channel that were observed in the early 1980s. Just 3% of the recaptures of bass >36 cm tagged in UK inshore fisheries were reported from the offshore pairtrawl fishery, whereas half the recaptures of bass tagged in that fishery were made inshore along the UK coast. When weighted by the respective catches, this suggests that the effects of management measures implemented in the UK inshore fishery are largely restricted to that fishery. A proposal for stock units for assessment and management of NW European sea bass fisheries is presented.

Keywords: fishery interactions; migrations; sea bass; stock units; tagging

Journal Article.  8191 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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