Assessment of the Falkland Islands population of Argentine hake Merluccius hubbsi.
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AuthorsHill, S. (Simeon); Agnew, D. (David); Middleton, D. (David); Portela, J. (Julio); Pierce, G.J. (Graham John); Fuertes, J.R. (José Ramón); Wakeford, R. (Robert)
Spanish vessels fish for the Argentine hake, Merluccius hubbsi both in Falkland Islands Conservation Zones and in high seas waters along the shelf edge to the north of the islands. Data are collected by the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department, Instituto Español de Oceanografía and Asociación Nacional de Armadores de Buques Congeladores de Pesca de Merluza. Data from these three sources were combined, with the aim of producing assessments of M. hubbsi. There was no relationship between abundance indices for Falkland Islands waters and high seas areas, suggesting little interaction between the populations in the two areas. Virtual population analysis suggested that the spawning stock biomass in Falklands waters declined from approximately 60,000 t in 1987 to about 15,000 t in the early 1990s but has since made a partial recovery to approximately 20,000 t. However, low recruitment levels are, apparently, impeding the recovery of the population. The abundance trend contrasts with a continued ...
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