The present study elucidated the length structure and habitat segregation of North Pacific spiny dogfish (SPD) Squalus suckleyi in the Tsugaru Strait of northern Japan. Length–frequency distributions using kernel density estimation were determined for SPD captured by the bottom longline fishery landed at Minmaya from 1999 to 2011 and at Ohma from 2007 to 2011. Length–frequency distributions significantly differed between landings at the two ports; SPD at Minmaya were on average larger (65–85 cm precaudal length: PCL) than at Ohma (55–75 cm PCL). This difference is evidence of the length-based spatial segregation of the SPD. The seasonal landing pattern of the SPD was also different between the two ports. The SPD landed at Minmaya were largest during February–June and SPD < 75 cm PCL were caught at Ohma throughout the year. This different landing pattern was related to seasonal differences in bottom-layer water temperatures between the two fishing grounds. Females were thought to be dominant at Minmaya, whereas males dominated in most of the catches at Ohma. These results suggest spatial patterns of sexual segregation for this species in the Tsugaru Strait and require elucidation of the SPD stock condition at Minmaya and Ohma.
Fisheries Science – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 9, 2017
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