MEPS prepress abstract  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13026

Environmental effects on the spatiotemporal variability of purpleback flying squid in Xisha-Zhongsha waters, South China Sea

Jing Yu*, Qiwei Hu, Danling Tang, Pimao Chen

*Email: yujing@scsfri.ac.cn

ABSTRACT: The purpleback flying squid Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis is an important ecological and fishery species in the South China Sea (SCS). This study investigated environmental effects on the spatiotemporal variability of S. oualaniensis in Xisha-Zhongsha waters, SCS, using generalized additive models (GAMs). The results showed that 43.06% of the total variation in S. oualaniensis catch per unit effort (CPUE) was explained. Based on the stepwise GAMs, the most important factor was sea surface temperature (SST), with a contribution of 14.80%, followed by longitude, month, chlorophyll a concentration (Chl a), and latitude with contributions of 8.8%, 5.94%, 5.90%, and 3.09%, respectively. Year and sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) each had a slight influence on the model, explaining approximately 2.97% and 2.10% of the variation in S. oualaniensis CPUE, respectively. S. oualaniensis was mainly distributed at 14–18° N and 110–115° E, with an SST of 27–28.5 °C, a Chl a of 0.11–0.15 mg m-3, and at the periphery of eddy where SSHA was close to 0 m. Analysis of the Center of Gravity for S. oualaniensis showed that the fishing ground shifted southwards by 2° latitude in the spring of 2008, La Niña. The findings of this study can help to better our understanding of the movement of S. oualaniensis in Xisha-Zhongsha waters and promote better fishery management under a changing climate.