Temperature dependence of Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) recruitment in the California Current Ecosystem revisited and revised

TitleTemperature dependence of Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) recruitment in the California Current Ecosystem revisited and revised
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLindegren M, Checkley DM
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Date Published2013/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0706-652X
Accession NumberWOS:000316017500010
Keywordscurrent system; engraulis-mordax; fluctuations; models; Northern anchovy; populations; regime shifts; southern; Spawning habitat; variability

Small pelagic fish typically show highly variable population dynamics due, in large part, to climate variability. Despite this sensitivity to climate, few stocks of pelagic species are managed with consideration of the environment. The Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) represents a notable exception, for which sea surface temperature (SST) from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) pier has been used, until recently, to adjust exploitation pressure under warm (favorable) and cold (unfavorable) climate conditions. Recently, the previously established temperature-recruitment relationship was reassessed using different methods, resulting in abandonment of the temperature-sensitive harvest control rule in 2012. In this study, we revisit the previous temperature-recruitment relationship using the original methodology and an updated data set from 1981 to 2010. In contrast to the recent reassessment, we find temperature explains significant variability in recruitment and recruitment success. We also show that mean annual SST averaged over the present California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations area is a better predictor of recruitment variability than SST at the SIO pier. We propose that sustainable management of the Pacific sardine should consider climate variability and that the basis for this be periodically updated and revised to inform management with the best available science.

Short TitleCan. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci.
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