Intermingling and seasonal migrations of Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) populations determined from tagging studies


Boje, Jesper
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A total of 7244 Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides, Walbaum) were tagged in Greenland waters between 1986 and 1998 to increase information on stock delineations, to clarify migration routes, and to describe the seasonal movements of fjord populations. At present 517 recaptured Greenland halibut have been recorded. For Greenland halibut released in Davis Strait, Baffin Bay, and the fjords of southwestern and eastern Greenland, a substantial portion of recovered fish demonstrated migratory behavior, up to 2500 km, primarily to Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland. The recaptured fish provided evidence of intermingling between the population in Denmark Strait and the populations in Davis Strait and the southwest Greenland fjords. These observations support those of other studies that indicate that Greenland halibut inhabiting Davis Strait and the fjords of southwestern and eastern Greenland originate in the spawning grounds west of Iceland. The high mobility of offshore Greenland halibut within Baffin Bay and Davis Strait suggests that Greenland halibut migrate extensively between feeding and spawning areas.Greenland halibut in the fjords of northwestern Greenland appear to be resident in behavior and do not intermingle with offshore or more southerly inshore populations. A seasonal pattern in the recovery of these fish indicates that Greenland halibut aggregate in the inner part of fjords during the second half of the year (when inshore waters are not covered with ice).