Scientia Marina, Vol 77, No 3 (2013)

Modelling the spatio-temporal distribution of age-1 Bay of Biscay anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) at spawning time

Leire Ibaibarriaga
AZTI-Tecnalia, Marine Research Division , Spain

Andrés Uriarte
AZTI-Tecnalia, Marine Research Division , Spain

Urtzi Laconcha
AZTI-Tecnalia, Marine Research Division , Spain

Miguel Bernal
General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) , Italy

María Santos
AZTI-Tecnalia, Marine Research Division , Spain

Marina Chifflet
AZTI-Tecnalia, Marine Research Division , Spain

Xabier Irigoien
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) , Saudi Arabia


To efficiently manage and maintain fish stock abundance and age structure, it is necessary to understand variability in its spatial distribution. The main objective of this study was to describe the demographic structure of the Bay of Biscay anchovy during the main spawning period based on adult samples from 15 daily egg production method surveys. The proportion of age-1 individuals was modelled using generalized additive models with a binomial distribution and a logit link in relation to geographical and environmental covariates. The possibility of obtaining different models depending on the average age-1 proportion (low or high) was also explored. In general, age-1 individuals were found in shallow waters close to the coast, especially associated with the Gironde and Adour river plumes, whereas older individuals were prevalent on the shelf break and in oceanic waters. However, in years with a high age-1 proportion the younger individuals were also dominant in oceanic waters. These results could be used for management purposes, such as defining protected areas for particular age groups.


spatial age composition; anchovy; Bay of Biscay; daily egg production method; generalized additive model; environmental effects

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