The selection of spawning location of sardine (Sardinops sagax) in the northern Benguela after changes in stock structure and environmental conditions
Most reports on the distribution of spawning areas of sardine (Sardinops sagax) in the northern Benguela originate from the 1970s and 1980s. The northern Benguela system was in a high upwelling regime during those decades. Since the early 1990s upwelling favourable winds have decreased and a trend of increasing sea surface temperature (SST) has been observed. Changes in the structure of sardine stock in the northern Benguela have been observed and it has been suggested that a reduced biomass and changes in stock structure has led to decreased spawning in the favourable southern locations, thus preventing a recovery of the sardine stock. The present paper on the contrary shows that there has been a shift in spawning location from the less favourable northern areas in the early 1980s to spawning areas further south in the 2000s. Thus, the failure of the northern Benguela sardine stock to recover since its collapse in the late 1960s cannot be explained by spawning in less favourable areas. Key words: environment, northern Benguela ecosystem, sardine, spawning location, stock structure.
|The selection of spawning location of sardine in the northern Benguela.pdf