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Costa P.L.,Grande Rio University | Valderrama P.R.C.,Grande Rio University | Valderrama P.R.C.,IMARPE Instituto del Mar del Peru | Madureira L.A.S.P.,Grande Rio University
Fisheries Research | Year: 2016

Marine fisheries in Brazil follow a similar trend as the rest of the world, with reduced catches of most stocks. Although extensive, the Brazilian coast is poorly assessed, and marine fishery resources are not properly managed. Small pelagic fishes are secondary consumers, which feed on zooplankton and serve as foraging species for large, carnivorous fishes. The anchovy (Engraulis anchoita) is an abundant, small pelagic fish found in abundance in Brazilian waters as it migrates along the Brazilian, Uruguayan and Argentine shelves. In 2010, five acoustic assessment cruises were conducted to estimate anchovy biomass in the southernmost part of the Brazilian coast. Hydroacoustic data were obtained using a SIMRAD EK 500 echo sounder along parallel transects. CTD (conductivity temperature depth) casts and mid-water trawl hauls were used to collect environmental and biological data. Anchovy biomass was estimated using NASC values, the fish target strength by size and the dimension of the surveyed area. For each survey, a GLM binomial was fitted to anchovy presence and the following explanatory variables: surface salinity and temperature, bottom salinity and temperature, and depth. Anchovy biomass ranged between 73,000 (June) and 814,000 (August) tons. We observed a mean temperature decrease of ~3 °C during the June and August surveys. This sharp environmental change was followed by a distinct increase in adult anchovy biomass from the first to the second survey. Fitted GLM models indicated that the bottom layers of cold, saline water had a positive effect on anchovy presence in August but not in June. Furthermore, during the August survey, a sharp change in the surface layer waters was observed on the Southern Brazilian Shelf, as the result of a low-salinity water inflow to this area. This phenomena was due to the Patos Lagoon runoff and also to the coastal winds over the Argentine Shelf, which forces the northward spreading of the Plate River plume to lower latitudes. This inflow increases primary productivity and, subsequently, the occurrence of fishes within the area. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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