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Pacific Basin climate variability and patterns of Northeast Pacific marine fish production

Pacific Basin climate variability and patterns of Northeast Pacific marine fish production

Progress in Oceanography. April-June; 491-4: 257-282

A review of oceanographic and climate data from the North Pacific and Bering Sea has revealed climate events that occur on two principal time scales: a) 2–7 years (i.e. El Niño Southern Oscillation, ENSO), and b) inter-decadal (i.e. Pacific Decadal Oscillation, PDO). The timing of ENSO events and of related oceanic changes at higher latitudes were examined. The frequency of ENSO was high in the 1980s. Evidence of ENSO forcing on ocean conditions in the North Pacific (Niño North conditions) showed ENSO events were more frequently observed along the West Coast than in the western Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Eastern Bering Sea (EBS). Time series of catches for 30 region/species groups of salmon, and recruitment data for 29 groundfish and 5 non-salmonid pelagic species, were examined for evidence of a statistical relationship with any of the time scales associated with Niño North conditions or the PDO. Some flatfish stocks exhibited high autocorrelation in recruitment coupled with a significant step in recruitment in 1977 suggesting a relationship between PDO forcing and recruitment success. Five of the dominant gadid stocks (EBS and GOA Pacific cod, Pacific hake and EBS and GOA walleye pollock) exhibited low autocorrelation in recruitment. Of these, Pacific hake, GOA walleye pollock and GOA Pacific cod exhibited significantly higher incidence of strong year classes in years associated with Niño North conditions. These findings suggest that the PDO and ENSO may play an important role in governing year-class strength of several Northeast Pacific marine fish stocks.

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Accession: 021517127

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DOI: 10.1016/s0079-6611(01)00026-x

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