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MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 677:177-196 (2021)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13852

Bottom temperature warming and its impact on demersal fish off the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan

Shigeho Kakehi1,*, Yoji Narimatsu2, Yuriko Okamura3, Asagi Yagura3, Shin-ichi Ito4

1Shiogama Field Station, Fisheries Stock Assessment Center, Fisheries Resources Institute, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Shinhama-cho, Shiogama, Miyagi 985-0001, Japan
2Hachinohe Field Station, Fisheries Stock Assessment Center, Fisheries Resources Institute, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Shimomekurakubo, Same, Hachinohe, Aomori 031-0841, Japan
3Miyagi Prefecture Fisheries Technology Institute, Watanoha, Sodenohama, Ishinomaki, Miyagi 986-2135, Japan
4Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8564, Japan
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Global climate change occurs not only at the ocean surface but also at the ocean bottom, which is the main habitat of demersal fish. To clarify the current status of bottom temperature warming off the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan, we examined gridded bottom temperature fields from 2003 to 2019. These fields were created by a newly developed gridding method using flexible Gaussian filter weighting with time, distance, and depth. Spatially averaged bottom temperature had a strong, significant warming trend of 0.083 to 0.115°C yr-1 in depth zones of 150-300 m, indicating bottom temperature warming. Corresponding to the warming, increases in landing amounts were found for warm-water species such as searobin in the middle region of our study area (37°50’-39°N). Seasonal catch amounts suggest that ribbon fish and swimming crab recently began to overwinter and reproduce in the area. The distribution shifts of non-target species in fisheries were also analyzed using bottom otter trawl survey data from the area from 2003 to 2019. Northward distribution shifts and increases in density were observed in blackbelly lantern shark and bighand grenadier, indicating that bottom temperature warming led to habitat expansion. Conversely, darkfin sculpin and jelly eelpout shifted northward with decreasing density, suggesting that bottom temperature warming had a negative effect on them. Deepsea bonefish shifted deeper into colder waters with increasing density and mean body weight. Thus, changes and responses of demersal fish to bottom temperature warming in the area were revealed.


KEY WORDS: Flexible Gaussian filter · Bottom temperature field · Bottom temperature warming · Demersal fish catch · Demersal fish distribution · Northeastern Japan


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Cite this article as: Kakehi S, Narimatsu Y, Okamura Y, Yagura A, Ito S (2021) Bottom temperature warming and its impact on demersal fish off the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 677:177-196. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13852

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