The effects of survey design and circulation pattern on the perceived abundance of herring larvae a case study for Norwegian spring spawning herring Clupea harengus
Erlin, K.S.Enevik, R.Char, D.M.N.Sh.F.Od.V.KebĂž; Pette, F.Ssum, K.El.B.Kkepla, S.
Fisheries Oceanography 21(5)
ISSN/ISBN: 1054-6006 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2419.2012.00631.x
A larval survey is used in the annual assessment as an index of the spawning stock size of Norwegian spring spawning herring (Clupea harengus). To test how inter-annual fluctuations in circulation pattern, survey design and execution of the survey affected the larval abundance estimate we conducted simulated surveys using a model framework with idealized assumptions to model larval drift and sampled larvae using several realistic survey scenarios. The results suggest that inter-annual variations in circulation pattern alone can have a profound effect on the perception of larvae abundance and that the direction of the survey (north to south versus south to north) can have a significant effect on the estimated abundance, particularly if hatching occurs over a short period of time. Additionally, disruptions to a continuous survey schedule also have an effect and, as such, sampling strategies in case of disruption to the survey are proposed.