A bottom trawl survey was conducted over all of the shelf and continental slope in the Russian waters of the Sea of Japan, from Peter the Great Bay to the La Perouse Strait, from March 31 to July 8, 2015. The species composition and biomass of demersal fish were determined for Peter the Great Bay, waters of southern and northern Primorye, and the West Sakhalin subzone. The bulk of the biomass (over 90% of the estimated biomass in the study areas) was formed by four families: Gadidae, Pleuronectidae, Cottidae, and Clupeidae. The highest biomass, 218000 t, was recorded from the West Sakhalin subzone; the lowest, 77400 t, was found from Peter the Great Bay. The proportions of biomasses of the considered species varied substantially between areas: walleye pollock and plain sculpin dominated by biomass in Peter the Great Bay; walleye pollock and scale-eye plaice dominated off southern Primorye; herring dominated off northern Primorye; and scale-eye plaice and speckled founder were dominant in the West Sakhalin subzone. The density of the fish concentration was determined for several bathymetric ranges in the considered areas. In the period of studies, the pattern of distribution of fish in Peter the Great Bay was still of the winter type, which is characterized by high concentrations over the continental slope. There was some shift towards shallower depths in Primorye waters; however, taking the great latitudinal span of the area of the research and the early spring into account, these migrations were not so clearly pronounced, as would be observed in later periods. The most distinct differences in the bathymetric distribution were found in the West Sakhalin subzone, where the distribution pattern corresponded mostly to the summer type with its high concentrations in shallow waters and low ones over the continental slope. According to the estimates in 2015, the biomass of demersal fish slightly increased as compared to the values of the 1980s–1990s.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 8, 2017
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