Mackerel capture. (Photo: YouTube/Txema5)
Scientists discover more mackerel in Northwest fishery
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 03:30 (GMT + 9)
Scientists at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) have found an increase of the mackerel stock in the northwest of Spain, which now accounts for about 80 per cent of the biomass in this area in the spring months.
The biomass growth, which has been observed in recent years, turns the mackerel into the "most characteristic species of spring in the Spanish northern coast," reported the agency EFE.
In the summer, the situation changes because the mackerel migrates to more northern waters.
The IEO team of experts participated in several research on the pelagic resource on board the vessel Miguel Oliver, of the General Secretariat of Fisheries, under the Pelacus survey.
This study assesses the abundance and distribution of populations of sardine, mackerel, anchovy and silver smelt, among other species.
In addition to this survey, the researchers are participating in the Sareva survey, which evaluates the sardine population off the coast of Galicia, the Cantabrian Sea and the Bay of Biscay. During this campaign, the samples show the discovery of many mackerel eggs.
According to Pablo Carrera, responsible for the Pelacus survey, in general the situation they are observing this spring is similar to that of 2013: there is a "clear" prominence of the mackerel and the other species "as bycatch," he stated.
The research was carried out using echo sounder and egg count technology.
Despite this growth, Carrea said IEO experts have not expressed whether they recommend or not to increase the fishing quota. In his opinion, it all depends on who "manages" these fishing quotas.
Regarding anchovy, the scientist said at this time it is more concentrated in French waters, so it is not the main objective of the Pelacus survey.
For next week it is expected that Pelacus survey researchers share their data with the French vessel Thalassa.
The idea is to intercalibrate their data and continue the historical series, which have been performed since the 80s.
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By Analia Murias