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Size changes, mortality, and equilibrium yields in an exploited stock of American plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides)
Powless, P.M. (1969). Size changes, mortality, and equilibrium yields in an exploited stock of American plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides). J. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. 26(5): 1205-1235. hdl.handle.net/10.1139/f69-109
In: Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. The Fisheries Research Board of Canada: Toronto. ISSN 0015-296x, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Hippoglossoides platessoides (Fabricius, 1780) [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Powless, P.M.

Abstract
    Records from research surveys and commercial landings for American plaice from the Magdalen Shallows, or the southwestern Gulf of St. Lawrence, showed decreases in percentage of old, large fish and in catch per unit of effort from 1955 to 1962. The changes in age composition were clearly relatable to the fishery, which was mainly by otter trawl. Ricker models indicated that wastage of deck-exposed subcommercial plaice is currently a greater mortality factor than predation by cod. Increased landings in particular years were associated with successful year-classes. Other factors affecting landings were annual differences in fleet dispersal, which were related to movements of cod, a cohabiting species. No clear decrease or increase in absolute recruitment of plaice was demonstratable because quantitative comparisons of research surveys by different vessels using different gears and with different skippers, would be misleading.Mortality estimates of adult plaice by three methods showed agreement, indicating that instantaneous rate of natural mortality was between 0.09 and 0.13. The instantaneous rate of fishing for 1957–62 was 0.46. Increasing mesh-size would reduce cod catches and have little effect in conserving plaice, but marketing small fish would increase plaice landings. Voluntary release of small plaice promptly on capture would help maintain the stock, as would reduction in numbers of large cod, the main predator of small plaice. Increased numbers of small cod since 1959, as reported by other workers, could result in greater food competition with small plaice, effectively reinforcing the ecological dominance of cod over plaice.

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