Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4533
Title: Spatio-temporal associations of albacore CPUE in the Northeastern Pacific with localized and climate environmental indices
Author: Anthony Jason Phillips, L. Ciannelli, Richard D. Brodeur, William G. Pearcy, John Childers
Publication Year: 2014
Journal: ICES Journal of Marine Science
Keywords: albacore, spatial distribution, temporal distribution, environmental variables, regime shifts,

We analyzed the spatial distribution of juvenile North Pacific albacore (Thunnus alalunga) in relation to local environmental variability (i.e., sea surface temperature (SST)), and two large scale indices of climate variability, the (Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Multivariate El Niño/Southern Oscillation Index (MEI)).  Changes in local and climate variables were correlated to 48 years of albacore troll catch per unit effort (CPUE) at 1° latitude/longitude cells, using generalized additive mixed models (GAMM).  Model terms were included to account for nonstationary and spatially variable effects of the intervening covariates on albacore CPUE.  Results indicate that albacore CPUE rates increased with SST both before and after the 197677 regime shift of the North Pacific, but CPUE geographically contracted to the north after 1977.  SST had a predominantly positive and spatially variable effect on albacore CPUE, with increasingly positive effects to the North, while PDO had an overall negative effect.  Thus, albacore catches shift northward and shoreward as PDO and SST increase.  These results imply that if ocean temperatures continue to increase, west coast fisher communities reliant on commercial albacore fisheries are likely to be negatively impacted in the southern areas but positively benefited in the northern areas, where current albacore landings are highest. 

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Theme: Ecosystem Approach to Management for the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem
Foci: Characterize linkages between climatic conditions and biotic responses.