Seasonal hydro-acoustical observations of small pelagic fish behaviour in Bahía Magdalena, Mexico
Laboratorio de Ecología de Pesquerías Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado postal 70-305 C.P. 04510, Mexico D.F, Mexico
2 Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Apartado Postal 592, La Paz,, Baja California Sur C.P. 23000, Mexico
Accepted: 20 January 2000
Bahía Magdalena, located on the southwest coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico (24°20'N, 111°30'W), is an important area for fishing of small pelagic fish. The Pacific sardine (Sardinops caeruleus) comprises more than 75 % of the total catch in the bay. Hydro-acoustic surveys were carried out in this bay using a single-beam echo sounder, Simrad EY-200 (200 kHz), during three oceanographic surveys (March, July and December 1996). Results demonstrate that in July more than 75 % of the positive observations (those echograms with more than 100 echoes in the volume sampled) and most of the echo counts were recorded in the 5–10-m-deep layer. During March and December, positive echograms in the upper stratum were below 50 % and most of the echo counts were detected in the lower layer (10–20 m). These results were related to the availability of Pacific sardine to the commercial fleet, specifically to the capture-per-unit-effort. Results support the hypothesis that sardines migrate during late summer and autumn and that a new recruitment occurs during the winter within the bay.
Key words: Hydro-acoustics / seasonal migration / Pacific sardine / Sardinops caeruleus / Bahía Magdalena / Pacific Ocean
© Elsevier, Inra, Ifremer, Cemagref, Ird, Cnrs, 2000