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Bibliography of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute

Jocelyne HUDON

GRÉGOIRE, F., C. LÉVESQUE, J.L. BEAULIEU, J. HUDON, 2006. Assessment of the Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus L.) spawning stock biomass from the 2003, 2004, and 2005 egg surveys. DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document, 2006/100, 48 p .

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The data that was collected during egg surveys conducted in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence indicate a significant drop in mackerel spawning biomass since 2003. This drop could be caused above all by particular environmental conditions. In fact, for the surveys conducted since 2003, the most significant egg concentrations were found in only one small region located in the south-western part of the sampled area. This particular egg distribution pattern has never before been observed and would be associated with the presence of cold waters that covered an important portion of the Gulf of St. Lawrence during these surveys. These cold waters could also be the cause for recent changes in migration routes and the unusual and very abundant occurrence of mackerel on the east coast of Newfoundland. We recommend that the egg survey be extended outside the Gulf of St. Lawrence in order to improve the assessment of mackerel abundance. In addition, because of the recent increase in American and Canadian landings, we recommend an international egg survey between the Unites-States and Canada. This survey could be conducted periodically and cover the species’ two principal spawning grounds in the northwest Atlantic.

GRÉGOIRE, F., C. LÉVESQUE, J.L. BEAULIEU, J. HUDON, 2006. Évaluation de la biomasse reproductrice du maquereau bleu (Scomber scombrus L.) selon les relevés des œufs realisés en 2003, 2004 et 2005 ; Assessment of the Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus L.) spawning stock biomass from the 2003, 2004, and 2005 egg surveys. MPO, Secrétariat canadien de consultation scientifique, Document de recherche ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document, 2006/100, 48 p .

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The data that was collected during egg surveys conducted in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence indicate a significant drop in mackerel spawning biomass since 2003. This drop could be caused above all by particular environmental conditions. In fact, for the surveys conducted since 2003, the most significant egg concentrations were found in only one small region located in the south-western part of the sampled area. This particular egg distribution pattern has never before been observed and would be associated with the presence of cold waters that covered an important portion of the Gulf of St. Lawrence during these surveys. These cold waters could also be the cause for recent changes in migration routes and the unusual and very abundant occurrence of mackerel on the east coast of Newfoundland. We recommend that the egg survey be extended outside the Gulf of St. Lawrence in order to improve the assessment of mackerel abundance. In addition, because of the recent increase in American and Canadian landings, we recommend an international egg survey between the Unites-States and Canada. This survey could be conducted periodically and cover the species’ two principal spawning grounds in the northwest Atlantic

GRÉGOIRE, F., W. BARRY, J. BARRY, L. LEFEBVRE, C. LÉVESQUE, J. HUDON, 2006. West coast of Newfoundland capelin (Mallotus villosus M.) and Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus harengus L.) larval survey, part 3: Description of the data collected in partnership with the industry (Barry Group) in July 2005. Can. Data Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 1168(Part 3), 32 p .

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In partnership with the Barry Group in Corner Brook, a larval survey was conducted from July 19 to 21, 2005, between Bonne Bay and Port au Port Bay on the west coast of Newfoundland. Fish eggs and larvae were found at all the sampled stations. The two most abundant groups of eggs that were identified were CYT (cunner [Tautogolabrus adspersus] and yellowtail flounder [Limanda ferruginea]) and CHW (cod [Gadus morhua], haddock [Melanogrammus aeglefinus], and witch flounder [Glyptocephalus cynoglossus]). Mackerel eggs (Scomber scombrus) were also found at each station. Of the sixteen species of larvae identified, the most abundant were those of cunner, fourbeard rockling [Enchelyopus cimbrus], capelin [Mallotus villosus], righteye flounder [Pleuronectidae], and cod. Depth-based profiles of water temperature and salinity were made for each station. All the biological and oceanographic data collected during the survey were compiled and are presented in the tables, figures, and appendices found in this document. These data will be analyzed and published in a forthcoming report.

GREGOIRE, F., W. BARRY, J. BARRY, L. LEFEBVRE, C. LEVESQUE, J. HUDON, 2005. West coast of Newfoundland capelin (Mallotus villosus M.) and Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus harengus L.) larval survey, part 1: Description of the data collected in partnership with the industry (Barry Group) in July 2004. Can. Data Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 1168, 38 p .

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In partnership with the Barry Group in Corner Brook, a larval survey was conducted from July 15 to 17, 2004, between Bonne Bay and Port au Port Bay on the west coast of Newfoundland. Fish eggs and larvae were found at all the sampled stations. The two most abundant groups of eggs that were identified were CYT (cunner [Tautogolabrus adspersus] and yellowtail flounder [Limanda ferruginea]), and CHW (cod [Gadus morhua], haddock [Melanogrammus aeglefinus], and witch flounder [Glyptocephalus cynoglossus]). Mackerel eggs (Scomber scombrus L.) were also found at most of the stations. Of the twenty species of larvae identified, the most notable were those of capelin (Mallotus villosus M.), herring (Clupea harengus harengus L.), cod, righteye flounder (Pleuronectidae spp.), and cunner. Depth-based profiles of water temperature and salinity were made for each station. All the biological and oceanographic data collected during the survey were compiled and are presented in the tables, figures, and appendices found in this document. These data will be analyzed and published in a second report

GRÉGOIRE, F., C. SAVENKOFF, H. BENOÎT, D. CHABOT, C. LÉVESQUE, J. HUDON, J. LAVERS, 2004. Pêche, biologie et distribution du capelan (Mallotus villosus) dans les divisions 4RST de l'OPANO en 2003 ; Capelin (Mallotus villosus) fishery, biology and distribution in NAFO Divisions 4RST in 2003. MPO, Secrétariat canadien de consultation scientifique, Document de recherche ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document, 2004/136, 79 p .

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In 2003, capelin landings fished in the Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence added up to 4,640 t. These landings represent a rise of 1,248 t compared with the 2002 level. However, despite this increase, the 2003 landings are still lower than the annual average landings of 5,522 t calculated for the 1990-2002 period. According to the industry, the recent drop in capelin landings would be caused by the loss of some significant markets and not a decrease in the abundance. The majority of landings realized in 2003 were made by purse seiners operating on the west coast of Newfoundland, and in unit area 4Rc in particular. Between the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, fishing seasons in this area were generally characterized by late fishery opening dates (and spawning activities). The average length of capelin caught in Division 4R showed a downward trend between 1986 and 1999, but a rise occurred thereafter. Nevertheless, the lengths measured in 2003 still remain lower to those recorded in the 1980s. Indices measuring the dispersion and probabilities of finding capelin are now calculated from the groundfish and shrimp (Pandalus borealis) abundance research surveys. Between 1990 and 2003, these indices have been characterized by rises in their long-term tendencies. From 1997 to 2002, areas with high probabilities to find capelin in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence expanded gradually towards the east. However in 2003, the west coast of Newfoundland was rather characterized by a reduction of such areas. For the southern Gulf, a very significant expansion of the species distribution characterized this area since the middle of the 1990s. This expansion seems to be linked with a reduction of the Magdalen Shallows surface area covered by water colder than 1 °C. Stomach contents sampled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (Divisions 4R and 4S) since 1993 revealed that the capelin is a significant food resource for cod (Gadus morhua). A strong link would exist between the length of cod and the importance of capelin in its diet. Indeed, cods from 20 to 70 cm would be the most important predator for capelin.

GRÉGOIRE, F., L. LEFEBVRE, J. GUÉRIN, J. HUDON, J. LAVERS, 2004. Le hareng (Clupea harengus harengus L.) de la côte ouest de Terre-Neuve (Division 4R de l'OPANO) en 2003 ; Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus harengus L.) on the West coast of Newfoundland (NAFO Division 4R) in 2003. MPO, Secrétariat canadien de consultation scientifique, Document de recherche ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document, 2004/078, 74 p .

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The 2003 herring landings (Clupea harengus harengus L.) on the West coast of Newfoundland amounted to 14,681 t, representing 73 % of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC). The most significant landings were recorded in unit area 4Rd, with 10,546 t. The large seiners alone unloaded 11,090 t of herring on a quota of 11,000 t, compared to 2,307 t or 52 % of their quota for the small seiners, and 1,284 t or 28 % of their quota for fishermen using gillnet. The catch-at-age of spring spawners was dominated by the year-class of 1996, with 26.5 % of all the catches, and that of the fall spawners, by the year-class of 2000, with 34.1 % of the catches. The condition (index of Fulton) of the spring and fall spawners declined sharply in 2003, following major gains between 1998 and 2002. Almost all the 4 year old herrings and more are mature and, compared to the 1960s and 1970s, sexual maturity is now reached earlier, in particular for the spring spawners. Herring is generally caught in the whole sampling area covered by the annual scientific surveys conducted to assess groundfish and shrimp (Pandalus borealis) abundance in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. During these surveys, the most significant herring catches are realized in the area of Anticosti, on the lower North Shore of Quebec, and on the West coast of Newfoundland, at the head of the Esquiman Channel. Two dispersion indices calculated by indicator kriging show an upward trend between 1990 and 2001, followed by an important decline in 2003. For the West coast of Newfoundland, these two indices were relatively stable between 1993 and 1997. They increased rapidly after that and declined again in 2003.

GRÉGOIRE, F., C. LÉVESQUE, J. GUÉRIN, J. HUDON, J. LAVERS, 2004. Pêche et biologie du maquereau bleu (Scomber scombrus L.) dans les sous-régions 3 et 4 de l'OPANO en 2003 ; Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus L.) fishery and biology in NAFO Subareas 3 and 4 in 2003. MPO, Secrétariat canadien de consultation scientifique, Document de recherche ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document, 2004/079, 57 p .

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In 2003, landings of Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus L.) in the northwest Atlantic totalled 65,512 t, up to 3,372 t from 2002. In eastern Canada, 34,413 t were landed, a submit since 1960, including 26,295 t in Newfoundland only. The most important catches of this province were realized in unit areas 4Rb, 4Rc, and 4Rd. The other important unit areas were 4Tf and 4Xm, located respectively in the Magdalen Islands and close to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The catch at age associated to the 2003 Canadian landings was characterized by a very large number of fish 4 years old, from the 1999 year-class. At ages 1 to 4 years old, the fish in this year-class accounted for 63%, 68 %, 77 %, and 75 % of the total catch (in numbers) made between 2000 and 2003. Such values have never been observed in the year-classes that have dominated the fishery since the late 1960s.

GREGOIRE, F., R. MORNEAU, G. CARON, M. BEAUDOIN, C. LEVESQUE, C. ROSE, A. FELIX, J. HUDON, 2004. Fécondité du capelan (Mallotus villosus) dans l’estuaire et le golfe du Saint-Laurent en 2003. Rapp. tech. can. sci. halieut. aquat., 2560, 22 p .

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A capelin fecundity study was carried out in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2003. Ovaries were collected at three of the most important fishing locations between 10 May and 1 July. The fecundity, obtained using the gravimetric method, was evaluated at 18,326 eggs for the ovaries sampled in the Lower St. Lawrence compared to 16,129 eggs and 19,559 eggs for those coming from Sept-Îles and Newfoundland. Linear regressions were used to describe the relationships between fecundity, weight, and fresh length. Slopes of these regressions were not significantly different from one site to another. Histological examination of the ovaries revealed that the development of the vitellogenic or mature oocytes is synchronous. The mean diameter of the vitellogenic oocytes from Lower St. Lawrence capelin was 0.610 mm compared to 0.613 mm and 0.619 mm from Sept-Îles and Newfoundland capelin. A large difference was observed between the frequency distributions of vitellogenic and previtellogenic oocyte diameters. This means that capelin spawning is determinate. We found that capelin fecundity can be calculated rapidly from a relationship between the mean number of oocytes per gram of ovary and the mean oocyte diameter. Fecundities obtained with this relationship are similar to those calculated using the gravimetric method.

GRÉGOIRE, F., C. LÉVESQUE, J. HUDON, 1997. Description de la pêche au capelan (Mallotus villosus) dans l'estuaire et le golfe du Saint-Laurent pour 1996 ; Description of the capelin (Mallotus villosus) fishery in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, 1996. MPO, Secrétariat canadien pour l'évaluation des stocks, Document de recherche ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document, 97/15, 52 p .

Capelin landings in NAFO divisions 4RST stood at 6,509 t in 1996, with most of this catch coming from the purse seine fishery on the west coast of Newfoundland. In 1996, the management measure with respect to 50 capelin per kilo was eliminated; however, in exchange, TACs were reduced by 16 %. By-catches of capelin for shrimpers as a whole were an estimated 740 t. During the groundfish and shrimp assessment survey by the Alfred Needler in 1996, more capelin were caught than in previous years. The two abundance indices compiled from the survey, mean weight per set and occurrence percentages, reached maximum values. However, since the survey was not actually designed for pelagic fish like capelin, and since capelin is an important dietary item for some commercially valuable marine fish species, a cautious approach to harvesting the stock is still in order.