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Oceanographic characteristics of a multi-specific fishing ground of the Central South Brazil Bight
Borzone, C.A.; Pezzuto, P.R.; Marone, E. (1999). Oceanographic characteristics of a multi-specific fishing ground of the Central South Brazil Bight. Mar. Ecol. (Berl.) 20(2): 131-146
In: Marine Ecology (Berlin). Blackwell: Berlin. ISSN 0173-9565, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Borzone, C.A.
  • Pezzuto, P.R.
  • Marone, E.

    In the Central South Brazil Bight, a multispecific demersal trawl fishery is conducted by trawlers licensed for the industrial pink shrimp (Penaeus paulensis and Penaeus brasiliensis fishery. In addition to the pink shrimp, many by-catch species have become increasingly valued in the last two decades. In spite of the importance of this multispecific fishery, the oceanographic characteristics of the inner continental shelf, onshore the 100 m isobath, are poorly known. In this paper we present, for the fist time, monthly oceanographic records taken from December 1995 to May 1997 with the R/V ‘Diadorim’ at two of the main fishing grounds of this region. Water temperature data showed the formation of a strong thermocline during summer, from November to April. This thermal gradient, due to the South Atlantic central water (SACW) intrusion that reaches these shallow waters, disappeared with the homogenization of the water column during autumn and winter, from May to September. This cold and low salinity water does not originate from local river discharges, but also represents an advection of sub-Antartic water mass. After this and during spring, a new thermocline develops, reaching its maximal expression from February to March. A maximal gradient was registered in February 1997, when the temperature dropped from 26°C at 7 m to 16°C at 14 m depth. This result shows that the SACW intrusion is a large-scale phenomenon that regularly influences the whole inner continental shelf up to 20 m. Demersal fishing grounds located in this area were covered during summer by a cold and nutrient- rich mass of water that resulted in an unusual maximum of chlorophyll a values near the bottom (30 m). The homogenization of the water column and the presence of another coldwater mass during winter resulted in a strong semi-annual thermal cycle on the bottom. The role of this important oceanographic process in fishery production and dynamics deserves further investigation, but the data presented here show evidence for the importance of this phenomenon.

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