Decline in condition of northern bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Gulf of Maine

Golet, Walter J. and Cooper, Andrew B. and Campbell , Robert and Lutcavage, Molly (2007) Decline in condition of northern bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Gulf of Maine. Fishery Bulletin, 105(3), pp. 390-395.

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The northern bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is a highly mobile apex predator in the Gulf of Maine. Despite current stock assessments that indicate historically high abundance of its main prey, Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), commercial fishermen have observed declines in the somatic condition of northern bluefin tuna during the last decade. We examined this claim by reviewing detailed logbooks of northern bluefin tuna condition from a local fishermen’s cooperative and applying multinomial regression, a robust tool for exploring how a categorical variable may be related to other variables of interest. The data set contained >3082 observations of condition (fat and oil content and fish shape) from fish landed between 1991 and 2004. Energy from stored lipids is used for migration and reproduction; therefore a reduction in energy acquisition on bluefin tuna feeding grounds could diminish allocations to growth and gamete production and have detrimental consequences for rebuilding the western Atlantic population. A decline in northern bluefin tuna somatic condition could indicate substantial changes in the bottom-up transfer of energy in the Gulf of Maine, shifts in their reproductive or migratory patterns, impacts of fishing pressure, or synergistic effects from multiple causes.

Item Type: Article
Title: Decline in condition of northern bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Gulf of Maine
Personal Creator/Author:
Golet, Walter J.
Cooper, Andrew B.
Campbell , Robert
Lutcavage, Molly
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Fishery Bulletin
Volume: 105
Number: 3
Page Range: pp. 390-395
Date: 2007
ISSN: 0090-0656
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Item ID: 8881
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2012 09:35
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2012 09:35

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