Migration of saithe (Pollachius virens) in the Northeast Atlantic

E.Í. Homrum, B. Hansen, S.P. Jónsson, K. Michalsen, J. Burgos, D. Righton, P. Steingrund, T. Jakobsen, R. Mouritsen, H. Hátún, H. Armannsson, J.S. Joensen

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Saithe (Pollachius virens) stocks in the Northeast Atlantic intermingle as a result of migration among stock areas. The extent of migration has been poorly quantified. Here, we estimate measures of the migration based on existing tagging data from Icelandic, Faroese
and Continental (Scotland, North Sea and Norway) waters. Saithe tagged in Icelandic waters were seldom caught outside Icelandic
waters (,1% of tag returns), whereas 42% of adult saithe tagged in Faroese waters were recaptured outside Faroese waters.
Of adult saithe tagged in Norwegian waters 6.6% were recaptured outside Continental waters. In broad terms, there was a net migration of saithe towards Icelandic waters. The distance between tagging and recapture increased with increasing size and age, with saithe
tagged in Norwegian waters moving the longest distances. The results demonstrate significant, but variable, migration rates of adult
saithe in the Northeast Atlantic. More detailed studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms behind the migration and what causes
the differences among the areas
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-792
Number of pages11
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2013


  • migration
  • Northeast Atlantic
  • Pollachius virens
  • Saithe
  • tagging


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