Evidence of a variable "unsampled" pelagic fish biomass in shallow water (< 20 m): the case of the Gulf of Lion

Type Article
Date 2006-04
Language English
Author(s) Brehmer P1, Guillard J2, Guennegan Yvon3, Bigot Jean-Louis3, Liorzou Bernard3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ctr Rech Halieut Mediterraneenne & Trop, UR 109 & US 004, F-34203 Sete, France.
2 : INRA, Stn Hydrobiol Lacustre, UMR CARRTEL, F-74203 Thonon Les Bains, France.
3 : IFREMER, Ctr Rech Halieut Mediterraneenne & Trop, RH, F-34203 Sete, France.
Source ICES Journal of Marine Science (1054-3139) (Elsevier), 2006-04 , Vol. 63 , N. 3 , P. 444-451
DOI 10.1016/j.icesjms.2005.10.016
WOS© Times Cited 12
Keyword(s) Spatial distribution, Small pelagic fish, Shallow water, Hydroacoustic methods, Assessment
Abstract Studies of small pelagic fish biomass are limited by the fact that research vessels and fishing boats are usually restricted to working areas with a bottom depth > 20 m. Consequently, "unsampled" areas can represent a large proportion of the continental shelf, and the biomass in those areas can be important and must be taken into account in assessment methods in order to avoid misleading interpretations in population dynamics. A time-series tell years long has been compiled from acoustic-assessment surveys of small pelagic fish stocks, and the results show an overall increase in the acoustic fish density towards the coast, where values were the highest. Additional experiments on transects covering shallow-water areas (5-20 m) were conducted from 2001 to 2003 with small boats and a research vessel to evaluate the acoustic fish density in those areas. The results confirmed that the fish biomass in shallow water is significant, sometimes very large, and should be evaluated to avoid underestimation. Therefore, surveys should be conducted in shallow water, if at all possible, as well as at greater depths when carrying out surveys destined to support assessment exercises. (c) 2005 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
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