Identifying mature fish aggregation areas during spawning season by combining catch declarations and scientific survey data
|Author(s)||Alglave Baptiste1, 2, Vermard Youen1, Rivot Etienne2, Etienne Marie-Pierre3, Woillez Mathieu4|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : DECOD (Ecosystem Dynamics and Sustainability), IFREMER, Institut Agro, INRAE, Nantes, France
2 : DECOD (Ecosystem Dynamics and Sustainability), Institut Agro, IFREMER, INRAE, Rennes, France
3 : Mathematical Research Institute of Rennes IRMAR, Rennes University, Rennes, France
4 : DECOD (Ecosystem Dynamics and Sustainability), IFREMER, Institut Agro, INRAE, Brest, France
|Source||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (0706-652X) (Canadian Science Publishing), 2023-05 , Vol. 80 , N. 5 , P. 808-824|
Identifying and protecting essential fish habitats like spawning grounds requires an accurate knowledge of fish spatio-temporal distribution. Commercial declarations coupled with Vessel Monitoring System provide fine scale information on the full year to map fish distribution and identify essential habitats. We developed an integrated framework to infer fish spatial distribution on a monthly time step by combining scientific and commercial data while explicitly considering the preferential sampling of fishermen towards areas of higher biomass. We developed a method to identify areas of persistent aggregation of biomass during the spawning season and interpret these as spawning areas. The model is applied to infer maps of relative biomass for three species (sole, whiting, squids) in the Bay of Biscay on a monthly time step over a 9-year period. Integrating several fleets in inference provides a good coverage of the area and improves model predictions. The preferential sampling parameters give insights into the temporal dynamics of the targeting behavior of the different fleets. Last, persistent aggregation areas reveal consistent with the available literature on spawning grounds, highlighting the potential of our approach to identify reproduction areas.