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Webinar: Capelin in the Gulf of Alaska: environmental influences on spatial dynamics and implications for monitoring

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Wednesday, 02 May 2018, 1:00

Wednesday, May 2, 2018. 1:00PM. Webinar: Capelin in the Gulf of Alaska: environmental influences on spatial dynamics and implications for monitoring. David W.McGowan, University of Washington Seattle. Sponsored by Center for Satellite Applications and Research. More information here.


Capelin (Mallotus villosus) are an important mid-trophic link within marine food webs, yet there is limited information describing fluctuations in their distributions and population abundance in the Northeast Pacific.  This study investigated environmental influences on spatial patterns of age-1+ capelin in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Data from two independent,fisheries-oceanographic surveys (the GOAIERP’s offshore acoustic-trawl survey and the EcoFOCI late-summer, small-mesh trawl survey) were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models to quantify spatial and temporal variability in distributions and abundances of capelin over the GOA continental shelf during an 8-year period from 2000-2013.  Capelin were found to concentrate over or near shallow, submarine banks to the south and east of the Kodiak Archipelago. Interannual fluctuations in abundance occurred in the western GOA, while capelin were observed infrequently in Southeast Alaska. Model results indicated that capelin concentrated in areas associated with increased vertical mixing and enhanced primary production. Mean densities of capelin were not directly related to interannual differences in temperature. Results from this study can be used to predict responses of capelin to climate-related changes to the GOA, and to improve monitoring efforts to detect changes in capelin biomass and availability to predators.

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