Density-dependent distribution of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) into deep waters on the Faroe Plateau

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The natural production of cod on the Faroe Plateau depends on the spatial overlap between cod and their prey. However, cod tend to be distributed shallower than the bulk of their prey fish, such as Norway pout and blue whiting. We used commercial and survey catch per unit effort (cpue) data to investigate the distribution of cod in the deep water (150–400 m) on the Faroe Plateau. Cod often move to deep water when they are 4 or 5 years old. The extent of this habitat shift was positively correlated with the total biomass of 3- or 4-year-old cod on the Faroe Plateau, whereas prey densities in the shallow and deep areas, respectively, seemed to have much less influence. Hence, year classes that were a year older than strong year classes were distributed deeper than normal, and vice versa. The cpue in deep water for all ages pooled was strongly correlated with the age 3–6 biomass of cod on the entire Faroe Plateau. These findings are discussed in relation to food utilization and management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-110
Number of pages7
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2009


  • catchability
  • density-dependence
  • Faroe Plateau
  • food availability
  • Gadus morhua


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