Journal Article

Effect of <i>El Niño</i> on migration and larval transport of the Japanese eel (<i>Anguilla japonica</i>)

Heeyong Kim, Shingo Kimura, Akira Shinoda, Takashi Kitagawa, Yoshikazu Sasai and Hideharu Sasaki

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 64, issue 7, pages 1387-1395
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online June 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsm091
Effect of El Niño on migration and larval transport of the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica)

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Kim, H., Kimura, S., Shinoda, A., Kitagawa, T., Sasai, Y., and Sasaki, H. 2007. Effect of El Niño on migration and larval transport of the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica). – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 64: –.

To clarify the effect of an El Niño on the migration of Japanese eels (Anguilla japonica) in the western North Pacific, differences in migration patterns of eel larvae (leptocephali) in El Niño and non-El Niño years were compared qualitatively through a numerical particle-tracking model. Depending on interannual meridional displacements of the salinity front and bifurcation of the North Equatorial Current, transport of Japanese eel larvae to the Kuroshio was much less than to the Mindanao Current in an El Niño year, and recruitment to coastal habitats in Japan decreased in those years. In non-El Niño years, transport to the Kuroshio was twice as high, and recruitment to coastal habitats increased. If the spawning area of eels was independent of El Niño, transport differences between the two currents were not clear. In the western North Pacific, mesoscale eddies also played a significant role in dispersing eel larvae and prolonging their migration. Consequently, the changing oceanic conditions associated with climate change have resulted in decreased recruitment of Japanese eels, and the eddy effect on migration of the Japanese eel larvae needs to be added into the North Equatorial Current–Kuroshio system.

Keywords: El Niño; Japanese eel; larval migration; mesoscale eddy; NEC bifurcation; salinity front

Journal Article.  5354 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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