Fisheries Science

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 127–138 | Cite as

A preliminary study to understand the transport process for the eggs and larvae of Japanese Pacific walleye pollock Theragra chalcogramma using particle-tracking experiments based on a high-resolution ocean model

  • Hiroshi KurodaEmail author
  • Daisuke Takahashi
  • Humio Mitsudera
  • Tomonori Azumaya
  • Takashi Setou
SPECIAL FEATURE: ORIGINAL ARTICLE Social-ecological systems on walleye pollock under changing environment: Inter-disciplinary approach


We developed a realistic 1/50° high-resolution ocean model capable of resolving submesoscale variability, and performed particle-tracking experiments based on this ocean model to identify elements that significantly affect the transport of the eggs and larvae of the Japanese Pacific walleye pollock Theragra chalcogramma into Funka Bay. The high-resolution model reproduced representative features of the oceanographic conditions of the main spawning area and season. A comparison of particle-tracking experiments performed under the passive transport condition based on high-resolution (1/50°) and low-resolution (1/10°) ocean models showed that high-resolution modeling is essential in order to realistically simulate the transport process. In this regard, however, the vertical motion of particles cannot be explained by the passive transport condition, as it leads to unrealistically deep sinking of particles in the simulation. Turning our attention to feasible non-passive transport conditions, we then incorporated the buoyancy motion of particles and conducted additional experiments that mainly differed in the particle density adopted. We clarified that buoyancy is an important factor in the retention of particles near the sea surface, and that the ratio of the particles that remain in Funka Bay to the number of particles released is sensitive to the vertical motions/positions of the particles, implying that it is necessary to model this vertical motion more accurately by incorporating more realistic biological processes or a statistical distribution into the particle-tracking model.


Eggs and larvae Funka Bay Particle-tracking experiment ROMS Submesoscale variability Walleye pollock 



We would like to deeply thank Dr. Makino for providing us with the valuable opportunity to produce this manuscript. We also would like to thank the editor, two anonymous reviewers, and Dr. Isoda (Hokkaido University) for constructive and fruitful comments. Our numerical simulation was conducted on a cluster and vector computing system at the Agriculture, Forest, Fisheries, and Technology Center. This work was supported mainly by the Fisheries Agency project (Shigen HendoYoin Bunseki Chosa), but the contents of this study do not necessarily reflect the views of the Fisheries Agency.

Supplementary material

12562_2014_717_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (5.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 5919 kb)


  1. 1.
    Shida O, Hamatsu T, Nishimura A, Suzaki A, Yamamoto J, Miyashita K, Sakurai Y (2007) Interannual fluctuations in recruitment of walleye pollock in the Oyashio region related to environmental changes. Deep Sea Res II 54:2822–2831CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mori K, Funamoto T (2009) Assessments of fishery stocks in the Japanese Waters. Stock assessment of Japanese Pacific population of walleye pollock in 2008. Fisheries Agency and Fisheries Research Agency of Japan, Tokyo, pp 395–441 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nakatani T, Sugimoto K, Takatsu T, Takahashi T (2003) Environmental factors in Funka Bay, Hokkaido, affecting the year class strength of walleye pollock, Theragra chalcogramma. Bull Jpn Soc Fish Oceanogr 67:23–28 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kendall WA, Schumacher DJ, Kim S (1996) Walleye pollock recruitment in Shelikof Strait: applied fisheries oceanography. Fish Oceanogr 5:4–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wespestad GV, Fritz WL, Ingraham JW, Megrey AB (2000) On relationships between cannibalism, climate variability, physical transport, and recruitment success of Bering Sea walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma). ICES J Mar Sci 57:272–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bailey MK, Stabeno JP, Powers AD (1997) The role of larval retention and transport features in mortality and potential gene flow of walleye pollock. J Fish Biol 51:135–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Yoon TH (1981) Reproductive cycle of female walleye pollock, Theragra chalcogramma (Pallas), in the adjacent waters of Funka Bay, Hokkaido. Bull Fac Fish Hokkaido Univ 32:22–38 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Maeda T (1986) Life cycle and behavior of adult pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) (PALLAS) in water adjacent to Funka Bay, Hokkaido Island. Int North Pac Fish Comm Bull 45:39–65Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kendall WA, Nakatani T (1992) Comparisons of early-life-history characteristics of walleye pollock Theragra chalcogramma in Shelikof Strait, Gulf of Alaska, and Funka Bay, Hokkaido, Japan. Fish Bull US 90:129–138Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Honda S, Oshima T, Nishimura A, Hattori T (2004) Movement of juvenile walleye pollock, Theragra chalcogramma, from a spawning ground to a nursery ground along the Pacific coast of Hokkaido Japan. Fish Oceanogr 13(Suppl 1):84–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nakatani T, Maeda T (1981) Transport process of Alaska pollock eggs in Funka Bay and the adjacent waters, Hokkaido. Bull Jpn Soc Fish Oceanogr 47:1115–1118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kuroda H, Isoda Y, Takeoka H, Honda S (2006) Coastal current on the eastern shelf of Hidaka Bay. J Oceanogr 62:731–744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ohtani K, Akiba Y, Yoshida K, Ohtsuki T (1971) Studies on the change of the hydrographic conditions in the Funka Bay III. Oceanic conditions of the Funka Bay occupied by the Oyashio waters (in Japanese with English abstract). Bull Fac Fish Hokkaido Univ 22:129–142Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Shimizu M, Isoda Y (1998) Numerical simulations of the transport process of walleye pollock eggs into Funka Bay. Mem Fac Fish Hokkaido Univ 45:56–59Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sakamoto K, Tsujino H, Nishikawa S, Nakano H, Motoi T (2010) Dynamics of the coastal Oyashio and its seasonal variation in a high-resolution western North Pacific ocean model. J Phys Oceanogr 40:1283–1301Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shchepetkin AF, McWilliams JC (2003) A method for computing horizontal pressure-gradient force in an oceanic model with a nonaligned vertical coordinate. J Geophys Res 108(C3):3090. doi: 10.1029/2001JC001047 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Shchepetkin AF, McWilliams JC (2005) The Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS): a split explicit, free-surface, topography-following-coordinate oceanic model. Ocean Model 9:347–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Guo X, Fukuda H, Miyazawa Y, Yamagata T (2003) A triply nested ocean model for simulating the Kuroshio—roles of horizontal resolution on JEBAR. J Phys Oceanogr 33:146–169Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Penven P, Debreu L, Marchesiello P, McWilliams JC (2006) Evaluation and application of the ROMS 1-way embedding procedure to the central California upwelling system. Ocean Model 12:158–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kuroda H, Setou T, Aoki K, Takahashi D, Shimizu M, Watanabe T (2013) A numerical study of the Kuroshio-induced circulation in Tosa Bay, off the southern coast of Japan. Cont Shelf Res 53:50–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Large W, Yeager S (2004) Diurnal to decadal global forcing for ocean and sea-ice models: the data sets and flux climatologies. NCAR Tech Note NCAR/TN-460+STR. National Center for Atmospheric Research, BoulderGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Nakatani T, Maeda T (1989) Distribution of copepod nauplii during the early life stage of walleye pollock in Funka Bay and vicinity, Hokkaido. In: Proceedings of International Symposium on Biology and Management of Walleye Pollock. AK-SG-89. University of Alaska, Fairbanks, pp 217–240Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Nakatani T, Sugimoto K (1998) 13. Survival of walleye pollock in early life stages in Funka Bay and the surrounding vicinity in Hokkaido. Mem Fac Fish Hokkaido Univ 45:64–70Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Yabe I, Kusaka A, Hamatsu T, Azumaya T, Nishimura A (2011) Water mass structure in the spawning area of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) on the Pacific coast of the southern Hokkaido, Japan. Bull Jpn Soc Fish Oceanogr 75:211–220Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Nakatani T (1988) Studies on the early life history of walleye pollock Theragra chalcogramma in Funka Bay and vicinity, Hokkaido. Mem Fac Fish Hokkaido Univ 35:1–46Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Maeda T, Takahashi T, Ijichi M, Hirakawa H, Ueno M (1976) Ecological studies on the Alaska pollock in the adjacent waters of the Funka Bay, Hokkaido. II. Spawning season. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 42:1213–1222 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yamamoto J, Osato M, Sakurai Y (2009) Does the extent of ice cover affect the fate of walleye pollock? PICES Sci Rep 36:289–290Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Nishimura A, Hamatsu T, Shida O, Mihara I, Mutoh T (2007) Interannual variability in hatching period and early growth of juvenile walleye pollock, Theragra chalcogramma, in the Pacific coastal area of Hokkaido. Fish Oceanogr 16:229–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Nakatani T, Maeda T (1984) Thermal effect on the development of walleye pollock eggs and their upward speed to the surface. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 50:937–942 (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Visser WA (1997) Using random walk models to simulate the vertical distribution of particles in a turbulent water column. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 158:275–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Itoh M, Ohshima IK (2000) Seasonal variations of water masses and sea level in the southwestern part of the Okhotsk Sea. J Oceanogr 56:643–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Simizu D, Ohshima KI (2002) Barotropic response of the Sea of Okhotsk to wind forcing. J Oceanogr 58:851–860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Mizuta G, Fukamachi Y, Ohshima KI, Wakatsuchi M (2003) Structure and seasonal variability of the East Sakhalin Current. J Phys Oceanogr 33:2430–2445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Fukamachi Y, Mizuta G, Ohshima KI, Talley LD, Riser SC, Wakatsuchi M (2004) Transport and modification processes of dense shelf water revealed by long-term mooring off Sakhalin in the Sea of Okhotsk. J Geophys Res 109:C09S10. doi: 10.1029/2003JC001906
  35. 35.
    Simizu D, Ohshima KI (2006) A model simulation on the circulation in the Sea of Okhotsk and the East Sakhalin Current. J Geophys Res 111:C05016. doi: 10.1029/2005JC00298
  36. 36.
    Ebuchi N (2006) Seasonal and interannual variations in the East Sakhalin Current revealed by TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter data. J Oceanogr 62:171–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ebuchi N, Fukamachi Y, Ohshima KI, Shirasawa K, Ishikawa M, Takatsuka T, Daibo T, Walatsuchi M (2006) Observation of the Soya Warm Current using HF ocean radar. J Oceanogr 62:47–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Isoda Y, Kuroda H, Myousyo T, Honda S (2003) Hydrographic feature of coastal Oyashio and its seasonal variation. Bull Coast Oceanogr 41:5–12 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kusaka A, Ono T, Azumaya T, Kasai H, Oguma S, Kawasaki Y, Hirakawa K (2009) Seasonal variations of oceanographic conditions in the continental shelf area off the eastern Pacific coast of Hokkaido, Japan. Oceanogr Jpn 18:135–156 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Rosa AL, Isoda Y, Uehara K, Aiki T (2007) Seasonal variations of water system distribution and flow patterns in the southern sea area of Hokkaido, Japan. J Oceanogr 63:573–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Ogasawara J (1987) The Oyashio and the Oyashio Littoral Current. Kaiyo Monthly 19:21–25 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Shimizu M, Isoda Y, Baba K (2001) A late winter hydrography in Hidaka Bay, south of Hokkaido, Japan. J Oceanogr 57:385–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Conlon DM (1980) On the outflow modes of the Tsugaru Warm Current. La Mer 20:60–64Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Ohtani K (1971) Studies on the change of the hydrographic conditions in the Funka Bay II. Characteristics of the waters occupying the Funka Bay. Bull Fac Fish Hokkaido Univ 22:58–66 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Miyake H, Tanaka I, Murakami T (1988) Outflow of water from Funka Bay, Hokkaido, during early spring. J Oceanogr Soc Jpn 44:163–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Kendall AW (2001) Specific gravity and vertical distribution of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) eggs. Alaska Fish Sci Cent Process Rep 2001–01:88pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Kuroda
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Daisuke Takahashi
    • 3
  • Humio Mitsudera
    • 4
  • Tomonori Azumaya
    • 1
  • Takashi Setou
    • 2
  1. 1.Hokkaido National Fisheries Research InstituteKushiroJapan
  2. 2.National Research Institute of Fisheries ScienceYokohamaJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Agricultural ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  4. 4.Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

Personalised recommendations