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Segregation of herring larvae from inshore and offshore spawning grounds in the north-western North Sea - implications for stock structure
Heath, M. (1990). Segregation of herring larvae from inshore and offshore spawning grounds in the north-western North Sea - implications for stock structure. Neth. J. Sea Res. 25(1-2): 267-278
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

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  • Heath, M.

Abstract
    Herring larvae hatching from spawning sites around the Scottish coast are dispersed by water currents during the weeks following hatching. Hydrographic data, observations on the distribution of caesium-137 and measurements of current velocities by moored meters and drifting buoys, suggest that larvae from offshore spawning sites around the north of Scotland should be more rapidly dispersed than those hatching in inshore areas. This has been confirmed by direct observations on the advection of herring larvae in different regions of the north western North Sea. The conclusion is that larvae hatching in inshore areas, especially in the Moray Firth, are most likely to contribute to nearby juvenile populations, whereas larvae from offshore spawning sites should be widely dispersed over the North Sea. Tagging and parasitology investigations have shown that adult herring spawning in the north-western North Sea have been widely dispersed in the North Sea and adjacent waters as juveniles (six months - one and a half years old). However, a high proportion of adult fish caught at inshore spawning sites and in the Moray Firth were found to have been recruited from more local areas. Taken together with the observations on larval drift, these observations suggest that the stock structure of herring in the northern North Sea may in part be a consequence of the physical oceanography of the area.

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