Seasonal movements and environmental conditions experienced by Pacific halibut in the Bering Sea, examined by pop-up satellite tags

Scientific Report of the International Pacific Halibut Commission 84
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Currently, Pacific halibut are managed as one population extending from California to the Bering Sea. However, we hypothesize that a spawning subpopulation of Pacific halibut exists in the Bering Sea. In this study, we examined the seasonal migration and depth-specific behavior of Pacific halibut in the Bering Sea, which serve as indicators of possible population structure. We tagged 12 adult halibut in August, 2002 near St. Paul Island with Pop-up Archival Transmitting (PAT) tags. Externally attached to the fish, PAT tags recorded depth, temperature, and ambient light intensity. The PAT tags released from the fish on either 15 February 2003 or 1 May 2003 and transmitted the historical data and location to Argos satellites. Data were recovered from nine tags: one fish was recaptured after 12 days at-liberty, seven tags released from the fi sh and reported to Argos satellites as scheduled, and one tag prematurely released from the fi sh after 42 days and then transmitted to the satellites as scheduled. The tagged fish ranged from 112 to 137 cm FL and were at-liberty from 12 to 258 days. Distance traveled from the release site ranged from 0–513 km. Fish visited a range of depths between 12 and 844 m where temperatures ranged from 1.4–9.4°C. Several halibut moved between International Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory areas during the course of the study, but there was no evidence that any of the halibut moved out of the Bering Sea. While sample size was small, the lack of movement into the Gulf of Alaska during the winter spawning season is consistent with the hypothesis that the Bering Sea supports a locally resident population.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Organization Series
Title Seasonal movements and environmental conditions experienced by Pacific halibut in the Bering Sea, examined by pop-up satellite tags
Series title Scientific Report of the International Pacific Halibut Commission
Series number 84
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher International Pacific Halibut Commission
Publisher location Seattle, WA
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 24 p.
Other Geospatial Bering Sea