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Combined effects of exploitation and temperature on fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic

By Tristan Rouyer, Jean-marc Fromentin, Manuel Hidalgo and Nils C. Stenseth


Fish stock fluctuations are affected by two potentially confounding forces: the removal of individuals by fisheries and climatic variations affecting the productivity of fish populations. Disentangling the relative importance of these forces has thus been a question of primary importance for fisheries management and conservation. Through the analysis of long-term time-series for 27 fish stocks from the Northeast Atlantic, the present study shows that the sign and intensity of the effect of temperature on biomass are dependent on the geographical location: the stocks located at the southernmost and northernmost latitudes of our study displayed stronger associations with temperature than the stocks located in the middle range of latitudes. As a consequence, the investigation of the combined effects of exploitation and the environment revealed that the stocks at the northern/southern boundaries of the spatial extent of the species were more prone to combined effects. The interplay between geographic location, climate and exploitation thus plays a significant role in fish stock productivity, which is generally ignored during assessment, thus affecting management procedures

Topics: combined climate/exploitation effect, exploitation, fish stocks, Northeast Atlantic, response to climate, time-series
Publisher: 'Oxford University Press (OUP)'
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1093/icesjms/fsu042
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