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  • MS_Predicting_potential_spawning_clean_version (2)

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    Embargo ends: 17/10/24

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Marine fish species that form spawning aggregations are often vulnerable to exploitation, such as the European bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). Information on bass spawning aggregations is not well resolved temporally and spatially. Otolith daily growth increment (DGI) counts were conducted on 0-group bass collected in July-August 2014 & 2019 from seven settlement estuaries in the Irish and Celtic seas, to estimate the timing of spawning. These timings parameterised three-dimensional hydrodynamic and Lagrangian particle tracking models, run in reverse, to identify probable spawning locations. Estimated spawning occurred between April-May (inshore and offshore) < 200 km from each settlement area. At least two broad spawning areas were predicted: the central Irish Sea that led to post-larval recruitment in north Wales and northwest England, and the southern Irish Sea/Celtic Sea that led to post-larval recruitment in south Wales. Results indicate the current seasonal closure for northern stock bass may not protect spawning events that drive recruitment into settlement sites in Wales and northwest England. Surface temperatures and wind- and tide-driven surface currents determined the connectivity between spawning and settlement sites. Atmospheric drivers are expected to change in the future and management needs to account for potential regional shifts in spawning times and locations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106884
JournalFisheries Research
Early online date21 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024
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