The Responses of Fish Populations to Ocean Climate Fluctuations

Geir Ottersen, Jürgen Alheit, Ken Drinkwater, Kevin Friedland, Eberhard Hagen and Nils Chr. Stenseth

in Marine Ecosystems and Climate Variation

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780198507499
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191709845 | DOI:
 The Responses of Fish Populations to Ocean Climate Fluctuations

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Understanding how climate variability affects fish and fisheries and how the effects differ between species is of paramount importance when trying to predict the potential impacts of anthropogenically introduced climate change. This chapter shows how climate variability may influence North Atlantic fish populations by affecting spawning and reproduction, abundance and recruitment, individual growth rates, distribution and migration, natural mortality, and catchability and availability to fisheries. Although, they are principally derived from the northwest Atlantic Ocean, the results are representative of many species around the world. The impact of climate on some of the most important fish species in the North Atlantic: the demersal cod, the pelagic herring, sardines, and the anadromous salmon, is discussed.

Keywords: climate change; climate variability; North Atlantic; salmon; herring; sardines

Chapter.  14752 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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