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Inferring the annual, seasonal, and spatial distributions of marine species from complementary research and commercial vessels’ catch rates

The objective of this study is to analyse at fine scale the annual, seasonal and spatial distributions of several species in the Eastern English Channel (EEC). On the one hand, data obtained from scientific surveys are not available all year through, but are considered to provide consistent yearly and spatially resolved abundance indices. On the other hand, on-board commercial data do cover the whole year, but generally provide a biased perception of stock abundance. The combination of scientific and commercial catches per unit of effort (CPUEs), standardized using a delta-generalized linear model, allowed to infer spatial and monthly dynamics of fish distributions in the EEC, which could be compared with previous knowledge on their life cycles. Considering the scientific survey as a repository, the degree of reliability of commercial CPUEs was assessed with survey-based distribution using the Local Index of Collocation. Large scale information was in agreement with literature, especially for cuttlefish. Fine scale consistency between survey and commercial data was significant for half of the 19 tested species (e.g. whiting, cod). For the other species (e.g. plaice, thornback ray), the results were inconclusive, mainly owing to poor commercial data coverage and/or to particular aspects of the species biology.

Bourdaud Pierre, Travers-Trolet Morgane, Vermard Youen, Cormon Xochitl, Marchal Paul

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