Movements of haddock, Melanogrammus aeglefinus, on eastern Georges Bank determined from a population model incorporating temporal and spatial detail


Van Eeckhaute, Lutgarde A. M., Stratis Gavaris, and Edward A. Trippel
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A population model incorporating temporal and spatial detail revealed that the majority of eastern Georges Bank haddock, Melanogrammus aeglefinus, were found on the Canadian side of the Canada-U.S. boundary. During spring they were more widespread across the top of the bank and subsequently migrated eastward so that by fall almost all haddock were found in the deeper waters on the Canadian side. There is a return migration to the top of the bank during the winter. The seasonal distribution and migration of haddock has remained stable since 1985 and migration rates do not appear to be related to the observed range of abundance. The distribution pattern since 1985 appears similar to that observed between 1972 and 1984. In contrast, during 1963–71 haddock were more widespread throughout the area in both spring and fall. Abundance of haddock in the Georges Bank and Gulf of Maine area was exceptionally high in the earlier period, and haddock from the spawning component in the Great South Channel area may have accounted for a greater augmentation to the eastern Georges Bank population. In implementing strategies for managing this transboundary resource, scientists will need to evaluate the nature of haddock distributions in order, in turn, to evaluate the implications of their strategies.