Predicting the spatio-temporal distributions of pelagic sharks in the western and central North Pacific

TitlePredicting the spatio-temporal distributions of pelagic sharks in the western and central North Pacific
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKai M., Thorson J.T, Piner K.R, Maunder MN
JournalFisheries Oceanography
Date Published2017/09
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1054-6006
Accession NumberWOS:000407178900005
Keywordsblue shark; climate-change; environmental variables; fish spatial distributions; hotspots; intermediate water; isurus-oxyrinchus; longline fishery; oyashio interfrontal zone; prionace-glauca; shortfin mako; spatio-temporal distribution; spatio-temporal model; template model builder; unit-effort data

Spatio-temporal modeling estimates a species distribution function that represents variation in population density over space and time. Recent studies show that the approach may precisely identify spatial hotspots in species distribution, but have not addressed whether seasonal hotspots are identifiable using commonly available fishery data. In this study, we analyzed the seasonal spatio-temporal distribution of pelagic sharks in the western and central North Pacific using fishery catch rates and a generalized linear mixed model with spatio-temporal effects. Different spatial distribution patterns were observed between two shark species. The hotspots of shortfin mako (SFM) appeared in the vicinity of the coastal and offshore waters of Japan and the Kuroshio-Oyashio transition zone (TZ), whereas the hotspots of blue shark (BSH) were widely distributed in the areas from the TZ to the waters of the Emperor Seamount Chain. Shortfin mako distribution changes seasonally with clear north-south movement, which follows higher sea surface temperatures (SST). However, preferred spring and summer water temperature was still colder than those in fall and winter, but not as cold as for BSH, which did not show seasonal north-south movement. BSH exhibits seasonal east-west movement apparently unrelated to temperature. The spatial fishing effort by season generally follows the seasonal movement of temperature possibly making SFM more vulnerable to the fishery than BSH. These findings could be used to reduce the capture risk of bycatch sharks and to better manage the spatial distribution of fishing for targeted sharks.

Short TitleFish Oceanogr.
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