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Multi-annual changes of bottom temperatures in the Pacific off the North Kuril Islands and South Kamchatka (Northwestern Pacific, Russia) and demography of selected groundfish species

Author Affiliations

  • 1Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO), 17, V. Krasnoselskaya, Moscow, 107140, RUSSIA

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 1, Issue (2), Pages 61-84, February,2 (2012)

Abstract

The results of eight oceanological and bottom trawl surveys (totally 650 stations) conducted within the Pacific waters off the northern Kuril Islands and southeastern Kamchatka in 1993-2000 during the same calendar period (late summer autumn) are analyzed. Several periods with different thermal conditions were marked out. The 1993-1995s were characterized by the existence of two areas with low bottom temperatures (< 1°C): off central Paramushir Island and southeastern Kamchatka (cold years). The 1995 was coldest among three years with presence of wide area of negative bottom temperatures off the southeastern Kamchatka. The 1996-1998s were considerably warmer; the entire survey area was covered by waters with bottom temperatures > 1°C (warm years). In 1999, the situation has been changed and this year was somewhat colder than previous period (moderate year). 2000 was again warm year. During the whole study period, considerable changes of temperature conditions were registered in the northern part of the area surveyed only, while the rest part was covered by waters with bottom temperatures >1°C. The multi-annual changes of survey indices of 32 most common groundfish species (4 skates, Pacific cod, walleye pollock, sablefish, prowfish, 2 eelpouts, Atka mackerel, 5 sculpins, 6 snailfishes, sawback poacher, shortraker rockfish, Pacific ocean perch, broadbanded and shortspine thornyheads, Kamchatka flounder, northern rock and flathead soles, Pacific and Greenland halibuts) were analyzed. Correlation between demographic patterns of some species and bottom temperature changes were detected. Therefore it can be suggested that abundance of these species is affected by changes of bottom temperatures. At the same time, various species demonstrate similar tendencies of changes of their demography. Since the majority of species have long life span, they are not capable to respond quickly to climatic variability by changing of their abundance. The changes of their demographic patterns most likely show the redistribution of their biomass between areas or outside of area surveyed.

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