Effects of density-dependence and sea surface temperature on interannual variation in length-at-age of chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) in the Kuroshio-Oyashio area during 1970-1997


Watanabe, Chikako, and Akihiko Yatsu
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Annual mean fork length (FL) of the Pacific stock of chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) was examined for the period of 1970–97. Fork length at age 0 (6 months old) was negatively correlated with year-class strength which fluctuated between 0.2 and 14 billion in number for age-0 fish. Total stock biomass was correlated with FL at age but was not a significant factor. Sea surface temperature (SST) between 38–40°N and 141–143°E during April–June was also negatively correlated with FL at age 0. A modified von Bertalanffy growth model that incorporated the effects of population density and SST on growth was well fitted to the observed FL at ages. The relative FL at age 0 for any given year class was maintained throughout the life span. The variability in size at age in the Pacific stock of chub mackerel is largely attributable to growth during the first six months after hatching.