Inter-Research > MEPS > v617-618 > p295-305  

MEPS 617-618:295-305 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12508

Ecosystem modeling in the western North Pacific using Ecopath, with a focus on small pelagic fishes

Shingo Watari1,*, Hiroto Murase2, Shiroh Yonezaki2, Makoto Okazaki2, Hidetada Kiyofuji3, Tsutomu Tamura4, Takashi Hakamada4, Yu Kanaji2, Toshihide Kitakado5

1National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-8648, Japan
2National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries (Yokohama Laboratory), Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-8648, Japan
3National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries (Shimizu Laboratory), Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, 5-7-1 Orido, Shimizu, Shizuoka, Shizuoka 424-8633, Japan
4The Institute of Cetacean Research, 4-5 Toyomicho, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0055, Japan
5Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, 4-5-7 Konan, Minato, Tokyo 108-8477, Japan
*Corresponding author:
Advance View was available online March 1, 2018

ABSTRACT: Small pelagic fishes like sardine, anchovy, and mackerel play important commercial and ecological roles in the western North Pacific. We present a static, mass-balance ‘Ecopath’ model for this region, focusing on small pelagic fish species, as an initial step to evaluate the role of these fishes in this ecosystem. Our quasi sub-model structure has 3 blocks (coastal Oyashio, coastal Kuroshio, and offshore) that were established to take sub-regional differences of bottom topography and oceanography into consideration. This model consists of 41 functional groups and assumes that some species are endemic to a single block, while some migrating species occur in 2 or 3 blocks. We evaluated the quality of our model using pedigree and pre-balance diagnostics. The impact of fisheries on the marine ecosystem assessed by both the L-index, i.e. the index of loss in secondary production due to fisheries exploitation, and the impact of fisheries targeting small pelagic fishes on the total production of small pelagic fishes, are compared with other ecosystems. Both ecological indices indicate that the western North Pacific ecosystem is not overexploited. Our static mass-balanced Ecopath model will contribute to expanding ecological knowledge of the western North Pacific.


KEY WORDS: Ecosystem model · Ecopath · Quasi sub-model structure · Western North Pacific · Small pelagic fishes · Forage fish · Fishing impact


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Cite this article as: Watari S, Murase H, Yonezaki S, Okazaki M and others (2019) Ecosystem modeling in the western North Pacific using Ecopath, with a focus on small pelagic fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 617-618:295-305. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12508

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