Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 25, Number 2, April-June 2012
|Page(s)||151 - 161|
|Published online||16 July 2012|
Temporal stability of the maturation schedule of capelin Mallotus villosus in the Barents Sea
Institute of Marine Research, Box 1870
2 Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Box 7803, 5020 Bergen, Norway
3 Present address: Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Center, Agrocampus Ouest, 65 rue de Saint-Brieuc, CS 84215 Rennes Cedex, France
4 International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 2361 Laxenburg, Austria
a Corresponding author :
Accepted: 15 May 2012
Capelin in the Barents Sea are primarily harvested in a terminal fishery that targets maturing individuals. Theory predicts that, in a semelparous population (i.e., one in which reproduction is seasonal, synchronous, and followed by parental mortality), an unselective, terminal fishery (i.e., one in which most of the fish that are not caught will not have a new spawning opportunity) does not generate strong selection for changed age and size at maturation. The probabilistic maturation reaction norm (PMRN) method was applied to test this prediction and to detect possible temporal changes in length at maturation of Barents Sea capelin between 1978 and 2008. Maturation reaction norms suggest that maturation is age-independent in capelin, but that males require a larger size to attain the same maturation probability as females. No temporal trends in length at maturation could be detected, thus confirming the theoretical prediction. Furthermore, none of the candidate environmental variables tested to explain the temporal variability in length at maturation (water temperature and capelin biomass) consistently showed a significant correlation with the PMRN midpoints.
Key words: Probabilistic maturation reaction norms / Fisheries-induced evolution / Semelparous life-history / Forage fish / Osmeridae / Sub-Arctic fish
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD 2012
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