Horizontal and Vertical Migration of Anglerfish Lophius piscatorius in Relation to Hydrography in Faroese Waters

L.H. Ofstad, H. Hátún, T. Pedersen, P. Steingrund, B. Mikkelsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Adult anglerfish conduct annual migrations between spawning areas and feeding
areas; for Faroese waters this migration has so far not been described. Therefore,
anglerfish migration and distribution in Faroese waters was investigated by markrecapture studies, including data storage tags, as well as data from scientific trawl
surveys, commercial trawlers and gillnetters. The fish distribution was compared to
hydrographical conditions such as sea surface- and bottom temperature. A clear
seasonal offshore-onshore migration was observed. Anglerfish occupied shallower
waters (of the Faroe shelf, during winter. This seasonal movement was most evident for sexually
mature fish longer than 70 cm indicating spawning in deep waters during winter.
Further, during winter anglerfish experienced cold water, which indicated that they were
distributed close to the main interface of cold water masses surrounding the shelf. The
fish were mostly located in warm water (6.5–11◦C) and seldom occurred in colder
waters than 4◦C. Anglerfish appeared generally inactive, only around 5% of the total
data storage tag recordings showed more than 5 m vertical movement between two
subsequent hourly recordings. This vertical activity varied seasonally by being higher
during winter than summer and diurnally by being higher during night time than day time,
indicating that sunrise and day length played an important role in vertical movements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number823066
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • anglerfish
  • data storage tag
  • hydrography
  • Faroe Islands
  • Lophius piscatorius
  • mark-recapture
  • migration

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