Identifying Mature Fish Aggregation Areas During Spawning Season

By Yvonne Sadovy
February 06, 2024

To ensure the conservation of vital fish habitats, such as spawning grounds, it is crucial to accurately determine the spatio-temporal distribution of fish. This study introduces a comprehensive methodology that integrates commercial fishing reports and Vessel Monitoring System data to delineate fish distribution on a fine scale throughout the year. By amalgamating scientific and commercial insights and considering fishermen’s predilection for areas of higher biomass, this approach facilitates the monthly mapping of fish spatial distribution. The technique identifies zones of consistent biomass aggregation during spawning seasons, which are interpreted as potential spawning areas. Through application to species like sole, whiting, and squids in the Bay of Biscay over a nine-year span, the method not only offers a detailed view of relative biomass but also enhances the understanding of fleet dynamics and spawning ground identification.

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