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Complex migration routes of Atlantic bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus question current population structure paradigm



Complex migration routes of Atlantic bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus question current population structure paradigm



Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 67(6): 966-976



Movements of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus, ABFT) from specific western Atlantic forage grounds are not well described, and the extent of their spawning areas is mainly surmised. In 2005 and 2006, we deployed 41 pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) on adult Atlantic bluefin tuna off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, and on Georges Bank. During the assumed spawning period, 56% of the tagged ABFT occupied a known spawning area, while 44% were located in distant oceanic regions. Assuming obligate annual spawning, these results are inconsistent with the notion of spawning site fidelity to the Gulf of Mexico. The ocean-wide migrations of adult ABFT tagged on a common forage ground suggest evidence of a metapopulation requiring more spatially explicit management than the current simple two-stock structure.

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Accession: 037405302

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DOI: 10.1139/f10-033


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