Marine Biology

, Volume 161, Issue 3, pp 645–656 | Cite as

Movements, environmental associations, and presumed spawning locations of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) in the northwest Atlantic determined using archival satellite pop-up tags

  • Shelley L. Armsworthy
  • M. Kurtis Trzcinski
  • Steven E. Campana
Original Paper

Abstract

Large Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) off the eastern coast of Canada were tagged with pop-up satellite archival transmission tags (N = 17) to track movements, determine ambient depth and temperature, and infer spawning activity. Many halibut showed seasonal movements from deepwater slope areas in fall and winter to shallower feeding grounds on the Scotian Shelf and Grand Banks in summer. Halibut depths ranged between 0 and 1,640 m. Mean temperature of occupation was 4.7 °C. Multiple short-term vertical ascents from a consistent baseline depth, characterized as spawning rises, were identified in seven of the tagged halibut south of the Grand Banks. All presumed spawning rises occurred in multiples of 2–6 events at 2- to 9-day intervals between October and January, spanning an average vertical extent of 50–100 m at depths of about 800–1,000 m. Given the direction and velocity of the slope water currents and the duration of the pelagic stage, the calculated 300–500 km drift of the eggs and larvae would take them onto the Scotian Shelf, as well as into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Therefore, the location of the presumed spawning grounds is consistent with expectations based on migration compensation theory, the northeasterly migratory patterns of the juveniles, the relatively static distribution of the adults off southern Newfoundland, and the prevailing currents at depth.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shelley L. Armsworthy
    • 1
  • M. Kurtis Trzcinski
    • 1
  • Steven E. Campana
    • 1
  1. 1.Bedford Institute of OceanographyFisheries and Oceans CanadaDartmouthCanada

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