Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Commercial fishermen have argued that localized concentrations of spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) in the northeast U.S. shelf large marine ecosystem (NES LME) have impeded their fishing operations when monitoring surveys estimated lower relative abundances. Fishery-dependent and -independent data were analyzed simultaneously to examine whether increased spatial overlap between spiny dogfish and commercial fisheries may explain high catches of this species on fishing grounds. Spatial overlap was quantified between spiny dogfish distribution and commercial fisheries from 1989 to 2009 during autumn and spring in the NES LME. Combined, the sink gillnet (SGN) and otter trawl (OT) fisheries accounted for the majority of spiny dogfish catch (autumn: 85%; spring: 92%), either retained (SGN) or discarded (OT). Centers of spiny dogfish abundance illustrated spatial differences in local density within the NES LME and revealed seasonal differences in spiny dogfish density. Recent increases in spatial overlap indicate that a growing portion of the spiny dogfish stock was available to each fishery over the time series. Availability, estimated as the percentage of spiny dogfish present on fishing grounds, also increased and was generally higher during autumn than spring. Abundance of mature (total length.80 cm) female spiny dogfish was significantly related to availability, but trends were variable between fisheries and seasons. Although recent increases in abundance indicate recovery, research regarding the mechanisms behind these changes may help explain why abundance in the NES LME appears highly variable.
Cod Gadus-Morhua; Fish Stock Assessment; Georges-Bank; Spatial-Distribution; Atlantic Cod; Hydrographic Variables; California Current; Abundance Indexes; Catchability; Management
Sagarese, Skyler R.; Frisk, Michael G.; Cerrato, Robert M.; Sosebee, Kathy A.; Musick, John; and Rago, Paul J., Spatiotemporal Overlap Of Spiny Dogfish (Squalus Acanthias) And Commercial Fisheries In The Northeast Us Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (2015). Fishery Bulletin, 113(2), 101-120.