MEPS 407:227-241 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08526

Spatio-temporal distribution and biomass of Benthosema pterotum (Pisces: Myctophidae) in the shelf region of the East China Sea

Chiyuki Sassa1,*, Youichi Tsukamoto1, Keisuke Yamamoto2, Muneharu Tokimura3

1Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency, 1551-8 Taira-machi, Nagasaki 851-2213, Japan
2National Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland Sea, Fisheries Research Agency, 2-17-5 Maruishi, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 739-0452, Japan
3Japan Sea National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency, 1 Suidou-cho, Niigata 951-8121, Japan

ABSTRACT: We examined the spatio-temporal distribution and biomass of Benthosema pterotum, a dominant mesopelagic-boundary myctophid in the shelf region of the East China Sea, based on data from seasonal bottom-trawl surveys. They are a major prey item for commercially important demersal fishes in this area. A total of 980000 individuals with a wet weight of 554 kg were collected from 694 bottom-trawl net samples. Dense distributions (>105 ind. km–2) of B. pterotum were observed mainly in the area south of Cheju Island in all seasons, where a persistent cyclonic eddy occurs. The distribution pattern indicated the presence of an independent population completing their life cycle in the area south of Cheju Island. Daytime habitat depth of B. pterotum (mainly 40 to 90 m depth) was a markedly shallower depth than previous reports for adult fishes for the family Myctophidae. The mechanism of population maintenance of this mesopelagic species in such a shallow area was hypothesized to be related to the presence of highly turbid waters in the benthopelagic layer, which produces dim light conditions during the daytime. The biomass of B. pterotum in the area south of Cheju Island was estimated to range from 3900 to 38400 t.


KEY WORDS: Population maintenance · Mesopelagic-boundary myctophid · Benthosema pterotum · Biomass · Highly turbid waters · Continental shelf region · Mesopelagic species


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Cite this article as: Sassa C, Tsukamoto Y, Yamamoto K, Tokimura M (2010) Spatio-temporal distribution and biomass of Benthosema pterotum (Pisces: Myctophidae) in the shelf region of the East China Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 407:227-241. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08526

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